Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Petroterminal De Panama, S.A. v. Houston Cas. Co.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 16, 2015

PETROTERMINAL DE PANAMA, S.A., Plaintiff,
v.
HOUSTON CASUALTY COMPANY, NATIONAL LIABILITY & FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY a/k/a NATIONAL FIRE & LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY, LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK, INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, CONTINENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY, FIREMAN'S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY and AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants v.

Page 153

For Petroterminal De Panama, S.A., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Jeffrey Louis Schulman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Dickstein Shapiro LLP (NY), New York, NY; Stephen Allen Dvorkin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Dickstein Shapiro LLP (NYC), New York, NY.

For Houston Casualty Company, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company, also known as National Fire & Liability Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Continental Insurance Company, Defendants: Jay M. Lonero, LEAD ATTORNEY, Angie A Akers, Thomas H. Peyton, Larzelere, Picou, Wells, Simpson, Lonero LLC, Metairie, LA; Michael Anthony Kotula, Rivkin Radler, LLP, Uniondale, NY.

For Great American Insurance Company of New York, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Jay M. Lonero, LEAD ATTORNEY, Angie A Akers, Thomas H. Peyton, Larzelere, Picou, Wells, Simpson, Lonero LLC, Metairie, LA; Stephen V Rible, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mendes & Mount, LLP (Newark), Newark, NJ; Michael Anthony Kotula, Rivkin Radler, LLP, Uniondale, NY; Michelle Taylor Castle, Mendes & Mount, LLP (NYC), New York, NY.

For Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, American Home Assurance Company, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Stephen V Rible, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mendes & Mount, LLP (Newark), Newark, NJ; Michelle Taylor Castle, Mendes & Mount, LLP (NYC), New York, NY.

For Houston Casualty Company, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Continental Insurance Company, Counter Claimants: Jay M. Lonero, LEAD ATTORNEY, Angie A Akers, Thomas H. Peyton, Larzelere, Picou, Wells, Simpson, Lonero LLC, Metairie, LA; Michael Anthony Kotula, Rivkin Radler, LLP, Uniondale, NY.

Page 154

OPINION AND ORDER

JED S. RAKOFF, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Petroterminal de Panama, S.A. (" PTP" ) brings this action for breach of contract and declaratory judgment against its insurers: (1) Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Great American Insurance

Page 155

Company of New York, American Home Assurance Company, and Indemnity Insurance Company of North America (the " Primary Insurers" ), and (2) Houston Casualty Company, National Liability & Fire Insurance Company a/k/a National Fire & Liability Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Great American Insurance Company of New York, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, and Continental Insurance Company (the " Bumbershoot Insurers" ). Collectively, the defendants are simply referred to as the " Insurers." PTP seeks to recover, pursuant to two marine liability insurance policies issued by the Insurers, over $2 million in costs and fees that it incurred in the defense of an underlying lawsuit in New York Supreme Court. Currently before the Court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment.

The underlying facts are not in dispute. PTP is a Panamanian state-owned company that owns and operates oil storage and transfer facilities in Panama, including marine terminals on Panama's Atlantic and Pacific coasts connected by a trans-isthmus pipeline. See Affidavit of Jay M. Lonero dated February 27, 2015 (" Lonero Aff." ) Ex. F ¶ 1. In 2003, PTP entered a Transportation and Storage Agreement (the " TSA" ) with Taurus Petroleum Limited (" Taurus" ) whereby Taurus leased PTP's facilities for storage of its crude oil and related shipping operations. Id. ¶ 4. In December 2005, Taurus assigned the TSA to Castor Petroleum (" Castor" ), a global company based in Geneva, Switzerland. Id. ¶ ¶ 13-14. At that time, Castor did not register to do business in Panama. Id. ¶ 15.

On or about February 4, 2007, a valve ruptured at PTP's facility located at Chiriqui Grande (the " Atlantic Facility" ), leading to a minor oil spill (the " Oil Spill" ). Id. ¶ 23. Following the Oil Spill, PTP faced a series of lawsuits in Panamanian court seeking damages for personal injury and property damage (the " Civil Actions" ). See Declaration of Steven V. Rible dated February 27, 2015 (" Rible Decl." ) Ex. N at 2. One of the Civil Actions was a lawsuit filed in the Maritime Tribunal of Panama, captioned Communidades de Cayo de Agua, et al. v. Unicom Management Service, et al. (the " Cayo de Agua Action" ), which named both PTP and Castor as defendants. See Bumbershoot Insurers' Corrected Local Civil Rule 56.1 Statement dated March 20, 2015 (" Bumbershoot 56.1" ) ¶ 11.

In order to secure jurisdiction over Castor, the Cayo de Agua plaintiffs obtained an Order from the Panamanian court dated June 8, 2007, which attached the oil that Castor had stored at PTP's Atlantic Facility (the " Attachment" ). Id. ¶ 12. The Attachment remained in place until it was suspended on July 16, 2007 by a Justice of the Panamanian Supreme Court. See Primary Insurers' Local Civil Rule 56.1 Statement dated February 27, 2015 (" Primary 56.1" ) ¶ ¶ 52, 59. Thus, for approximately six weeks, Castor did not have access to the oil it had stored at the Atlantic Facility. The full Supreme Court of Panama later found that the Attachment violated due process and should not have issued. Id. ¶ 60.

The TSA between Castor and PTP contained two indemnity provisions. Pursuant to the " Inland Indemnity" provision, PTP agreed to indemnify Castor for " any and all Damages ... resulting from or relating to the operation of the PTP System, regardless of the cause." Lenaro Aff. Ex. H ΒΆ 18. Pursuant to the " General Indemnification" provision, each party agreed to indemnify the other for damages " resulting from or relating to (i) the willful or negligent acts or omissions of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.