Posts tagged "Pittsburgh"

Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-083-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION NO. 2016-00045 BLS1 PHILADELPHIA INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY vs. NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH, PA MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Plaintiff Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (PIIC) and defendant National Union Fire Insurance Company (National Union) each issued insurance policies to North Suffolk Mental Health Associated, Inc. (North Suffolk). PIIC issued a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy; and National Union issued a Workers’ Compensation and General Liability (Workers’ Comp.) policy. In a case filed in the Middlesex Superior Court in 2011, captioned Estate of Stephanie Moulton v. Nicholas Puopolo, et al. (the Underlying Action), the plaintiff estate brought suit against eighteen directors of North Suffolk (the Director Defendants) asserting claims arising out of the work related death of Ms. Moulton, a North Suffolk employee. The Director Defendants tendered the claim to both PIIC and National Union. PIIC defended the claim (under a reservation of right) and National Union declined coverage. The Director Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Underlying Action was eventually allowed, after appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). See Estate of Moulton v. Puopolo, 467 Mass. 478 (2014) (Moulton). In this action, PIIC has filed suit against National Union asserting claims for 2 declaratory judgment and equitable subordination and seeking to recover the cost of its successful defense of the Underlying Action. The case is now before the court on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, National Union’s motion is ALLOWED, and PIIC’s motion is DENIED. ADDITIONAL FACTS The following additional facts are undisputed. Ms. Moulton was an employee of North Suffolk, a charitable corporation that provides mental health and rehabilitation services. She was assaulted and killed by a patient while performing her job. As explained in Moulton, her estate (the Estate) filed the Underlying Action against the directors of North Suffolk and others. It alleged claims for willful, wanton, reckless, malicious and grossly negligent conduct and, also, as to the Director Defendants, breach of fiduciary duty. The complaint alleged that the Director Defendants “effectuated” policies and failed to “effectuate” other policies that caused Ms. Moulton’s death. Id. at 480. They “moved to dismiss the complaint chiefly on the grounds that, with respect to the wrongful death action, they are immune from suit, as Ms. Moulton’s employer, under the exclusive remedy provision, G.L.c. 152, § 24 of the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), and, with respect to the breach of fiduciary duty claim, they owed Moulton no such duty.” Id. The Superior Court denied the motion to dismiss; the director defendants sought interlocutory review under the doctrine of present execution; and the case was transferred to the SJC. As […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 3, 2017 at 10:06 pm

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Anderson, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-022-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12108   ODIN ANDERSON & others[1]  vs.  NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH PA & others.[2]       Middlesex.     October 6, 2016. – February 2, 2017.     Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, & Lowy, Budd, JJ.     Consumer Protection Act, Insurance, Unfair or deceptive act, Offer of settlement, Damages.  Insurance, Settlement of claim.  Damages, Consumer protection case, Interest, Punitive.  Interest.  Judgment, Interest.  Practice, Civil, Judgment, Damages, Interest.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 13, 2003.   The case was heard by Brian A. Davis, J., and motions to alter or amend the judgment were also heard by him.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Kathleen M. Sullivan for National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA. Leonard H. Kesten (Richard E. Brody also present) for the plaintiffs.     GAZIANO, J.  In this appeal, we consider the proper measure of punitive damages to be assessed against defendants who engage in unfair or deceptive insurance settlement practices in violation of G. L. c. 176D, § 3, and G. L. c. 93A, § 9 (3).  The plaintiffs — Odin Anderson, his wife, and his daughter — filed a personal injury action in the Superior Court for serious injuries Odin[3] suffered after being struck by a bus owned by Partners Healthcare Systems, Inc. (Partners), that was being driven by one of its employees.  The plaintiffs filed a separate action, under G. L. c. 176D, and G. L. c. 93A, against Partner’s insurers and claims representatives; proceedings in that action were stayed pending resolution of the underlying tort claims.  After a trial, a Superior Court jury awarded Anderson $ 2,961,000[4] in damages in the personal injury action, and awarded his wife and daughter $ 110,000 each.  At a subsequent, jury-waived trial, a different Superior Court judge found that the insurers and claims representatives violated G. L. c. 93A and G. L. c. 176D by their “egregious,” “deliberate or callously indifferent” actions, “designed to conceal the truth, improperly skew the legal system and deprive the Andersons of fair compensation for their injuries for almost a decade.”  Based on these findings, the judge concluded that the insurers’ and claims representatives’ “misconduct warrants the maximum available sanction . . . , both as punishment for what transpired and as a deterrent to similar conduct in the future.”  He awarded the plaintiffs treble […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 2, 2017 at 6:14 pm

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