Victory Over Denial of Coverage as a Matter of Law
October 19, 2012 Case Study
Zapata v. American Dynasty
After a plant explosion, an oilfield equipment manufacturer was named as a defendant in multiple personal injury and wrongful death suits. The oil field company tendered the suits to its insurer which assumed the defense without reservation. When the insurer later denied coverage because the company was not an insured under the policy, the company turned to Beck Redden for help. The firm established that the insurer, while in control of the defense, failed to join other potential parties to the litigation. This left the company as the sole defendant. The trial court, in a rare move, held that the insurer could not deny coverage as a matter of law. The insurer did not appeal the judgment. David Jones handled the case for firm client Zapata.