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Supreme Court of Mississippi
June 13, 1966
[*872] Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Co., Ltd., a co-partnership, brought suit against United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. in the Circuit Court of Harrison County, seeking to recover the sum of $3,351.50, alleging that this amount was paid by Mavar to defend and settle certain suits against it in the Federal District Court, It was also alleged that under the terms of an insurance policy issued to Mavar by United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. the insurer had the duty to defend these suits, which it failed to do after due demand. The Insurance Company denied that the policy of insurance covered the loss, or that by the terms thereof it was obligated to defend these suits.
The pertinent facts are as follows. Steve Rodolfich, Jr. filed two suits, a civil suit and a suit in admiralty in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, against United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. and Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Co., Ltd., and [**2] two suits, a civil suit and a suit in admiralty in the United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, against certain parties doing business as Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Co., Ltd. In each of the four declarations it was alleged that Rodolfich was employed by Mavar on the Shrimp boat "Ruth Friedhoff," and that the boat was owned pro hoc vice or chartered, operated and equipped by Mavar. It was further alleged that as a result of the orders of the captain to remove certain trawl boards from the boat to the wharf while the vessel was moored at the head of the pier of Mavar's wharf, Rodolfich sustained severe accidental injuries to his back. The Insurance Company and Mavar defended the Louisiana suits by separate counsel who collaborated in the defense. The Insurance Company knew that Mavar contended Rodolfich was not its employee, and that Mavar denied liability for this reason.
There was a question relative to the sufficiency of the process in the Louisiana suits, and they were dismissed before being tried. Mavar then called upon the Insurance Company to defend the Mississippi suites, but it refused to do so. Mavar defended [*873] these suits and denied [**3] Rodolfich was its employee at the time he was injured. Due to the congested state of the docket in the District Court, trial of these cases was delayed. At a pre-trial conference, the district judge recommended that the suits be settled, and named a figure. Mavar refused to settle for the recommended amount, but finally did settle for $2,500. It is for this amount, together with the attorneys' fees and expenses, that Mavar filed this suit.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
187 So. 2d 871 *; 1966 Miss. LEXIS 1366 **
MAVAR SHRIMP & OYSTER CO., Ltd. v. UNITED STATES FIDELITY & GUARANTY CO.
Disposition: [**1] Reversed and judgment here for appellant.
insurer, insurance company, suits, duty to defend, coverage, terms of the policy, true facts, declaration, allegations, groundless, settlement
Insurance Law, Business Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend