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United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
March 31, 2014, Decided; March 31, 2014, Filed
[*553] Plaintiff commenced this action [**2] seeking redress for defendant North River Insurance Company's ("defendant") failure to pay proceeds under an umbrella commercial general liability policy for tendered losses arising out of underlying lawsuits advancing personal injury and wrongful death claims against plaintiff. Presently before the court are motions to file documents under seal and to redact privileged and/or confidential information from briefs and/or statements of material fact to be submitted in conjunction with each party's contemplated motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motion will be denied and defendant's motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff's averments place the parties' dispute in the following context. "This is [an insurance coverage action] for breach of contract and statutory bad faith arising out of the failure and refusal of [defendant [*554] North River Insurance Company] (as the issuer of an umbrella liability insurance policy to [plaintiff]) . . . to honor the contractual and legal obligations [owed to plaintiff] in connection with asbestos, silica, and coal workers' pneumoconiosis ("CWP") bodily injury (including death resulting therefrom) lawsuits [**3] in which [plaintiff] has been named as a defendant." Amended Complaint at ¶ 1. The applicable umbrella liability insurance policy ("the policy") allegedly obligates defendant to pay for defense costs and to indemnify plaintiff for amounts paid in settlement and satisfaction of judgment in those bodily injury lawsuits. Id. at ¶ 2. The policy follows the form of a Hartford policy. Id. at ¶ 13. Defense costs assertedly are "in addition to the applicable limit of liability of" the policy. Id. at ¶ 19.
"Since at least the 1980s, [plaintiff] has been sued in numerous bodily injury lawsuits in jurisdictions across the country, the majority of which involve respiratory protection and/or protective clothing products allegedly manufactured and sold by [plaintiff] (the "Underlying Claims")." Id. at ¶ 20. Plaintiff began to tender numerous settled underlying claims to defendant for indemnification in 2007 and continued to do so in 2008. Id. at ¶¶ 24-26. Plaintiff reiterated its demand for payment in February of 2009 and informed defendant that pursuant to J. H. France Refractories Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co., 534 Pa. 29, 626 A.2d 502 (Pa. 1993), it was selecting defendant "to assume responsibility pursuant [**4] to the Policy for the indemnity and defense costs associated with other settled Underlying Claims" which encompassed the settlement of lawsuits involving claims by approximately 400 claimants. Id. at ¶ 28. Plaintiff seeks to establish that defendant is in breach for failure to abide by the policy provisions governing indemnity for covered losses for bodily injury claims in the amount of $20,274,186.00 and defense costs of $1,107,375.00. Id. at ¶¶17-19, 29, 39-43. Although claims exhausting the aggregate policy limit have been tendered to defendant, plaintiff continues to incur defense costs on the underlying claims. Id. at ¶ 32.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
73 F. Supp. 3d 544 *; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42771 **
MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES COMPANY, Plaintiff, vs. THE NORTH RIVER INSURANCE COMPANY and RIVERSTONE CLAIMS MANAGEMENT LLC, Defendants.
Prior History: Mine Safety Appliances Co. v. North River Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147882 (W.D. Pa., Sept. 29, 2010)
documents, seal, disclosure, parties, settlement, protective order, discovery, insurer, underlying claim, confidential, attorney-client, coverage, claimants, communications, designated, privileges, waived, judicial record, courts, third party, cases, redact, trade secret, proceedings, filings, Recommendation, carriers, motions, co-client, underlying litigation