Posts tagged "Seafoods"

The Hanover Insurance Group Inc. v. Raw Seafoods, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-011-18)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION NO. 12-03503-BLS2 THE HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP INC., Plaintiff vs. RAW SEAFOODS, INC., Defendant MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT This case concerns a dispute over coverage between an insured and its insurer. Defendant Raw Seafoods, Inc. (RSI) is a seafood processor. In 2012, an RSI customer, Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc. (Atlantic), filed an action in federal court alleging that RSI’s negligent processing of its scallops resulted in their premature spoilage. RSI’s insurer, plaintiff Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (Hanover), agreed to defend RSI under a reservation of rights and then filed the present action, seeking a declaration that it had no duty to indemnify RSI for any judgment Atlantic obtained. After the federal court judge granted summary judgment in favor of Atlantic and entered judgment against RSI, the parties filed cross motions for partial summary judgment in the instant action. This Court (Roach, J.) granted summary judgment in favor of Hanover but the Appeals Court reversed. 91 Mass.App.Ct. 401 (2017). RSI now renews it Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Motion is Allowed. 2 BACKGROUND RSI is a seafood processing facility in Fall River. Atlantic, a seafood company that sells scallops and other seafood, regularly uses RSI to apportion, pack, and freeze the fresh scallops that it purchases from fishing vessels. Upon delivery of Atlantic’s scallops, RSI staff inspects the scallops for quality, reports the results to Atlantic, and receives processing instructions. After processing, the scallops are transported to a third-party cold storage facility, Arctic Cold Storage (Arctic), from which Atlantic ships its customers’ orders. In July 2011, a batch of scallops that RSI had processed made their way through customs in Denmark where it was observed that the scallops were decomposed and emitting a strong smell of ammonia. They were deemed unacceptable for human consumption and sent back to the United States. Once in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration tested the batch and confirmed that it was spoiled. The batch of scallops was then returned to Arctic’s facility, where representatives from Atlantic and RSI jointly inspected the shipment and again confirmed the damage. They also inspected another batch of scallops processed by RSI around the same time as the rejected batch, and discovered more damaged scallops. At the time, Hanover insured RSI through a Commercial General Liability (CGL) Policy. The Policy provides in relevant part that Hanover “will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ to which this insurance applies.” The Policy applies to “property damage” that is caused by an “occurrence,” which is […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 1, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. v. Raw Seafoods, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-048-17)

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   15-P-1554                                       Appeals Court   THE HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP, INC.  vs.  RAW SEAFOODS, INC.     No. 15-P-1554.   Suffolk.     September 16, 2016. – April 26, 2017.   Present:  Agnes, Neyman, & Henry, JJ.     Insurance, General liability insurance, Coverage.  Words, “Occurrence.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 21, 2012.   The case was heard by Christine M. Roach, J., on motions for summary judgment.     Michael J. Daly (Samuel P. Blatchley also present) for the defendant. Jeffrey E. Dolan (Anthony M. Campo also present) for the plaintiff.     NEYMAN, J.  In this case we analyze whether damage to scallops at a seafood processing facility, where the precise cause of damage is unknown, constituted an “occurrence” within the meaning of a commercial general liability (CGL) policy.  A Superior Court judge concluded that the defendant-insured, Raw Seafoods, Inc. (RSI), has no reasonable expectation of proving that its claimed loss was caused by an occurrence, and granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff-insurer, Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.  RSI appeals therefrom.  We reverse. Background.  1.  RSI and the damaged scallops.  RSI is a seafood processing facility in Fall River.  One of RSI’s customers, Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc. (Atlantic), sells scallops and other types of seafood around the world.  Atlantic purchases fresh scallops from fishing vessels, then transports the scallops to RSI for processing, portioning, packaging, and freezing.  RSI’s staff inspects the scallops for quality upon arrival, reports the results to Atlantic, and receives processing instructions from Atlantic.  After processing, the scallops are transported to Arctic Cold Storage (Arctic), a third-party cold storage facility.  Atlantic then ships its customers’ orders directly from Arctic’s facility.  RSI handles approximately 4 million to 6 million pounds of scallops for Atlantic per year. In July, 2011, RSI-processed scallops were making their way through customs in Denmark, heading to an Atlantic customer.  Upon inspection, the 37,102 pounds of scallops were found to be decomposed, exhibited a strong ammonia smell, and were deemed unacceptable for human consumption.  By all accounts, something was rotten in the state of Denmark.[1]  The United States Food and Drug Administration tested the scallops and confirmed that they were spoiled.  The scallops were then returned to Arctic’s facility, where representatives from Atlantic and RSI jointly inspected the shipment and confirmed the damage.  They also inspected another batch […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 27, 2017 at 11:41 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,