DuPont sues insurers for not providing indemnity in lawsuit

David Yates Jun. 13, 2012, 4:43am


In October 2007, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Dariel Jones sued DuPont after stepping into a gas-filled hole at the company's plant, suffering burns to his right leg and foot.

On June 8, E.I. DuPont De Nemours filed suit against American Home Assurance, Chartis Claims and Marsh USA in Jefferson County District Court, asserting the defendants denied its request for defense and indemnity.

The lawsuit alleges DuPont was named as an additional insured on a policy issued by AHA to a third party at the time of Jones' injury.

For three years, DuPont sought defense and indemnity from the defendants. Finally, on May 27, 2011, Chartis issued a letter denying coverage for the incident, stating the incident was caused by DuPont's negligence and not the company that obtained the coverage.

DuPont maintains the defendants are guilty of violating the Texas Insurance Code and is seeking to recover actual and economic damages, plus attorney's fees.

This is not the first time DuPont has sued another company after being named in a lawsuit.

Six months after settling a lawsuit with a pair of chemical emissions detectors who sued DuPont after being exposed to chemicals, DuPont turned and sued the company it hired to test its facility.

That case stems from litigation brought by Christopher and Jacqueline Bertrand, employees of METCO Non-Destructive Testing Co., who claim they inhaled harmful chemicals and suffered "orthopedic injuries while escaping the toxic DuPont" Beaumont Works plant.

Court records show DuPont settled with the couple on Jan. 19, 2010, agreeing to pay them $300,000 for their alleged damages. DuPont spent an additional $419,567.28 defending the suit.

DuPont then made a request to METCO and its insurer, Mid-Continent, to reimburse the company for the $719,567.28 spent on the Bertrand litigation, court papers say.

Mid-Continent rejected DuPont's demand and METCO never responded, leading DuPont to file a lawsuit against METCO on June 19, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court.

Beaumont attorney M.C. Carrington of MehaffyWebber represents DuPont.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E192-548

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