Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Insurance coverage, and the power of what is not said.

Originally published by David Coale.

one hand clappingLalo sued for injuries he suffered while riding in an 18-wheeler driven by Estrada.  Castle Point Insurance sought a declaration about its coverage obligations.  The Fifth Circuit, applying Texas’s “eight corners rule,” found that the district court erred in applying a “work-related injuries” exclusion to Lalo because his “state-court complaint contains no allegation that Lalo was an employee of [the trucking company]; nor does it contain sufficient factual allegations to classify Lalo as an employee.”  As to Estrada — again, not specifically alleged to be an employee — the insurer had a duty to defend (and potentially, to indemnify) because the evidence might establish him to be an employee.  (This is Lalo’s Petition — notably, while he never directly claims to be an employee, he does allege the defendants’ “[f]ailure to furnish Plaintiff with a safe place to work” and their hiring of “[n]egligent co-workers like Defendant ESTRADA — vividly illustrating the importance of the specific words used in pleading allegations that bear on insurance coverage.)  Castle Point Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Lalo, No. 15-10224 (March 17, 2016, unpublished).

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

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