Exxon Mobil sues insurer over personal injury claim

By Kelly Holleran | Nov 13, 2008

Exxon Mobil has filed suit against Steadfast Insurance Company, alleging the insurance company should have covered damages Exxon had to pay for an employee's personal injury.

Exxon was sued June 9, 2006, after Danny Denmon allegedly sustained personal injuries at Exxon's premises, according to a complaint filed Nov. 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

When it found out about the lawsuit, Exxon demanded that Steadfast defend and indemnify it, but the insurance company refused, the suit states.

Exxon claims Steadfast should have covered its claim.

Under a contract Exxon signed with ENGlobal, a contractor performing engineering, procurement and construction at the Exxon site, Exxon was made an additional insured on ENGlobal's comprehensive general liability insurance with Steadfast, according to the complaint.

Because Denmon was working for Triple S, a company hired by ENGlobal, the insurance coverage should have protected Exxon, the suit states.

"The insurers' denial of coverage is a breach of their contractual obligation to ExxonMobil," the suit states.

But, due to the fact that Steadfast refused to cover Exxon, the company claims it was forced to settle the Denmons' case without the benefit of insurance coverage.

Exxon is seeking the full amount of its out-of-pocket loss, unspecified damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum lawful rate, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

It is also seeking a declaratory judgment that orders Steadfast be required to provide liability coverage and indemnity to Exxon in the Denmon case, be required to provide primary coverage to Exxon over all other coverage and that Exxon be entitled to coverage and defense by Steadfast.

In addition, Exxon is seeking a declaratory judgment saying that Steadfast has waived all rights to deny coverage and indemnity to Exxon and that Steadfast's refusal to provide coverage is a breach of its contractual obligations.

Exxon is represented by George E. Bean and Alicia K. Hall of Chambers, Templeton, Casshiola and Thomas in Beaumont and Andrew M. Gilchrist of Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E-182-679

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