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Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. v. Dana Corp.

Court of Appeals of Indiana, Second District

December 12, 1997, Decided ; December 12, 1997, Filed

No. 49A02-9602-CV-110

Opinion

 [*288] OPINION

CHEZEM, Judge

Case Summary

Appellants-Defendants, American Insurance Company, Associated Indemnity Corporation and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company,  [**2]  (collectively "Fireman's Fund"), and Granite State Insurance Company, Lexington Insurance Company, and National Union Fire Insurance Company, (collectively "Granite State") appeal from the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Appellee-Plaintiff, Dana Corporation ("Dana"). We affirm.

Issues

Fireman's Fund raises five issues 1 for our review which we restate as:

I. Whether the trial court properly applied Indiana law;

II. Whether Dana designated sufficient facts to support summary judgment;

III. Whether the trial court properly concluded that the policy term "suit" applies to administrative proceedings;

IV. Whether the trial court properly concluded that the policy term "damages" includes environmental cleanup and response costs; and

V. Whether the trial court properly found that Fireman's Fund has a duty to defend Dana.

 [**3] Facts and Procedural History

The designated evidence shows that Dana is a manufacturer of automotive components with facilities across the United States and worldwide. Dana has obtained both primary and excess comprehensive general liability ("CGL") insurance coverage for its operations from a variety of insurers. Prior to 1947, Dana's primary CGL insurer was Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company ("Hartford"). Fireman's Fund was Dana's primary CGL insurer from 1947 to 1957. From 1957 to 1963, Dana obtained primary CGL coverage from Associated Indemnity Corporation and from 1963 to 1969, American Insurance Company was Dana's primary CGL insurer. From 1969 to 1978, Dana's primary CGL coverage was obtained from Associated Indemnity Corporation, and since 1978, Hartford was again Dana's primary CGL insurer. 2 In addition, Dana obtained excess or umbrella CGL coverage from a multitude of other insurers, including Granite State.

 [**4]  Sixty-three of Dana's facilities, located in nineteen states, have become the subject of various governmental agency or third party actions regarding alleged environmental contamination. Dana has made claims for coverage under its CGL insurance policies and has been denied coverage for the most part. As a result, Dana filed suit against fifty-six insurers seeking a declaration that it is entitled to indemnification and defense under its primary, umbrella, and excess CGL insurance policies. Fireman's Fund filed a counterclaim against Dana and a cross-claim against Hartford for declaratory relief and contribution. The trial court issued a Case Management Plan and Order establishing that Phase I would involve contract interpretation.

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690 N.E.2d 285 *; 1997 Ind. App. LEXIS 1757 **

HARTFORD ACCIDENT & INDEMNITY CO., et al., Appellants-Defendants, vs. DANA CORPORATION, Appellee-Plaintiff.

Subsequent History:  [**1]  Appellant's Transfer Denied May 1, 1998.

Prior History: APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT RM. 1. The Honorable Anthony J. Metz, III, Judge. Cause No. 49D01-9301-CP-26.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

insured, damages, trial court, parties, sites, costs, policies, contracting, ambiguous, coverage, negotiation, conflict of laws, Restatement, cleanup, environmental, courts, place of performance, unambiguous, Indemnity, pollution, response costs, designated, includes, partial summary judgment, settlement, Casualty, argues, administrative proceeding, environmental cleanup, insurance policy

Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Motions for Summary Judgment, General Overview, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Forum & Place, Preliminary Considerations, Insurance Law, Business Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Liability & Performance Standards, Notice to Insurers, Declaratory Judgments, State Declaratory Judgments, Contracts Law, Contract Interpretation, Ambiguities & Contra Proferentem, Judgments, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Policy Interpretation, Ordinary & Usual Meanings, Ambiguous Terms, Construction Against Insurers, Plain Language, Reasonable Expectations, Reasonable Person, Environmental Law, CERCLA & Superfund, Enforcement, Abatement, Hazardous Wastes & Toxic Substances, Potentially Responsible Parties, Evidence, Preliminary Questions, Admissibility of Evidence, Cost Recovery Actions, Strict Liability, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Remedies, Damages, Punitive Damages, Administrative Proceedings & Litigation, Nuisances, Strict Liability, & Trespasses, Coverage, Administrative Actions, Environmental Claims, Obligations of Parties, Policyholders, Duty to Cooperate, Cleanup Costs, Financial Responsibility, Business & Corporate Compliance, Hazardous Substance Superfund, Property Claims, Transporters, Jury Trials, Right to Jury Trial, Actions in Equity, Equity, Relief