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Pacific Employers Insurance Co. v. Troy Belting & Supply Co.

United States District Court, N.D. New York

June 20, 2014

PACIFIC EMPLOYERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
TROY BELTING & SUPPLY COMPANY, HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, HARTFORD CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, HARTFORD INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE MIDWEST, and ABC COMPANIES 1 THROUGH 20, Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

THOMAS J. MCAVOY, Senior District Judge.

Before the Court is the motion for partial summary judgment of Defendants Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, and Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest ("Hartford"). See dkt. # 169. Hartford seeks a declaratory judgment from the Court that its duty to indemnify Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff Troy Belting & Supply Company ("Troy Belting") for the asbestos claims underlying the lawsuit is triggered by injury-in-fact and limited to Hartford's pro rata time-on-the-risk share. Plaintiff Pacific Employers Insurance Company ("Pacific Employers") and Defendant North River Insurance Company do not oppose the motion. See dkts. # 173, 174. Troy Belting opposes the motion. Third-Party Defendants Unigard Insurance Company and QBE Americas, Inc., also oppose the motion.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

This case concerns insurance coverage for Troy Belting, which faces claims from persons exposed to asbestos. Troy Belting is a manufacturer incorporated in New York with its principal place of business in Watervliet, New York. (Hartford's Statement of Material Facts ("Hartford's Statement"), dkt. # 169-1, at ¶ 1). Troy Belting has been named as a defendant in lawsuits alleging bodily injury caused by exposure to asbestos from products the company allegedly manufactured. (Id. at ¶ 2). Troy Belting notes that Hartford fails to identify any specific lawsuits upon which it seeks a judgment. (Troy Belting's Response to Hartford's Statement of Material Facts, dkt. # 177, ("Troy Belting's Statement") at ¶ 2).

Hartford, an insurance company, issued seven primary insurance policies to Troy Belting between 1984 and 1992. (Hartford's Statement at ¶ 3). Troy Belting contends that Hartford issued policies effective from 1984 to 1994. (Troy Belting's Statement at ¶ 3). The policies all contained similar provisions establishing that:

The company will pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of... bodily harm... to which the insurance applies, caused by an occurrence;

and

"[O]ccurrence" means an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to conditions, which results in bodily injury or property damage neither expected nor intended from the standpoint of the insured;

and

"[B]odily injury" means bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by any person which occurs during the policy period;

(Id. at ¶ 4). Troy Belting points out that it has not yet been able to explore the authenticity of the policies provided by Hartford through additional discovery and deposition testimony. (Troy Belting's Statement at ¶ 4).

Plaintiff Pacific Employers Insurance Company ("Pacific Employers") issued primary insurance policies to Troy Belting for the period from October 3, 1974 to November 1, 1984. (Hartford's Statement at ¶ 5). Those policies contained language that included provisions substantially similar to these:

The Company will pay on behalf of the Insured, except as hereafter provided, all sums which the Insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of... personal injury... to which this insurance applies.. which occurs during the policy ...

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