Beck Redden Wins “Additional Insured” Appeal

In Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. v. ExxonMobil Corp., the Firm won an appeal involving “additional insured” coverage. Exxon hired a contractor for some refinery work, and the contractor obtained coverage for Exxon as an additional insured. Some of the contractor’s employees suffered non-fatal burns while working at the refinery, and litigation ensued. Exxon demanded that the insurers provide it with the additional insured coverage, but the insurers refused.

The Houston 14th Court of Appeals held (3-0) that Exxon is entitled to the coverage. In her opinion of December 17, 2015, Justice Tracy Christopher wrote that summary judgment for Exxon was appropriate: “On appeal, the insurers argue that the underlying contract between Exxon and the contractor, Wyatt Field Service Company, required Wyatt to provide Exxon additional-insured coverage only for liability arising out of Wyatt’s ongoing operations, and that the insurance policies incorporate such a coverage limitation. The insurers further argue that summary judgment was improper because there is a fact issue about whether Exxon’s liability arose out of the Wyatt’s operations. We affirm.”

Beck Redden partner David M. Gunn presented oral argument, and he and his appellate colleagues Erin H. Huber and John S. Adcock wrote the appellate brief. They collaborated on the case with Mike Morris and Danny L. Van Winkle of the Tekell, Book, Allen & Morris law firm, who obtained the summary judgment in the trial court. Please see the attached opinion.