NAICO targets DCP Midstream in controversy over duty to defend in underlying suit

By Robbie Hargett | Nov 19, 2015

An insurance company is suing a Colorado-based business in an attempt to clear its duty to defend or indemnify a natural gas services company involved in an underlying suit.

National American Insurance Company (NAICO) filed a complaint Oct. 19 in the Houston Division for the Southern District of Texas against DCP Midstream Operating, doing business as DCP Midstream Texas Operating and DCP Midstream, alleging NAICO has no duty to indemnify the defendants.

This complaint arises from an underlying lawsuit styled Orlando Martinez et al v. Midstream Operating et al, in which Martinez sued Midstream Operating over injuries he sustained when natural gas escaped from a pipeline and ignited, burning him.

DCP sought for NAICO to defend and/or indemnify DCP from the allegations in the underlying lawsuit.

This complaint alleges NAICO believes it has no obligation to defend and/or indemnify DCP because DCP is not the named insured under the policy and would only qualify for coverage if it were an additional insured under the policies.

NAICO seeks a judgment declaring it has no duty to defend or indemnify DCP for the underlying suit, plus recovery of attorney fees and expenses in bringing this suit. It is represented by attorney Fred L. Shuchart of Cooper & Scully in Houston.

Houston Division for the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-03080.

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