Molly English-Bowers Dec. 18, 2015, 1:49pm


HOUSTON -- An Ohio insurance company is suing another insurance firm to determine if the plaintiff has to pay a claim.

American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company filed a lawsuit Oct. 20 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Multifamily Services, Alliance Communities, Front Range Piney Point, Francisco Buchan and Jose Escun.

According to the complaint, on June 19, 2014, Front Range and Alliance hired MFS to perform maintenance at an apartment complex in Houston. During the maintenance, Buchan and Escun, whom the suit says were hired as sub-contracted employees, came into contact with a high voltage power line and both suffered severe injuries.

The suit seeks to determine whether the plaintiff is liable to pay a claim for those injuries. American Empire alleges it should not because the two injured workers were not employees of the other defendants, but rather temporary workers.

American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance asks the court to declare it has no duty to pay the injury claims and to grant other relief to which it may be entitled. It is represented by attorneys David L. Plaut, Catherine L. Hanna and Lauren E. Sprouse of  Hanna & Plaut LLP in Austin.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case number 4:15-cv-03094

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