Court records show ExxonMobil filed suit against Lexington in Jefferson County District Court, seeking insurance coverage for lawsuits brought by several contractors who were injured and/or killed in an April 2013 refinery fire.
On May 23, 2016, Lexington filed a motion to compel arbitration, which was denied by the trial court in September.
On appeal, Lexington argued ExxonMobil’s allegations fall within the scope of an arbitration provision agreed upon by the companies.
“Exxon admits that the underlying lawsuit requires interpretation of Lexington’s Umbrella Policy … and it also admits that the Umbrella Policy demands arbitration of all disputes concerning interpretations of the policy,” states the insurer’s appellate brief.
“Accordingly, the parties’ dispute over the interpretation of the definition of an insured fall squarely within the broad, clear language of the arbitration provision in the Lexington Policy, and the trial court should have compelled arbitration.”
On April 27, justices concluded that a valid arbitration agreement exists between the companies; that the scope of the matters to be arbitrated include the disagreement the parties have over whether Lexington’s umbrella covers Exxon for the claims Exxon made against Lexington under the policy; and that the trial court was required to grant the motion to compel.
“We reverse the trial court’s order denying Lexington’s motion to compel arbitration, and we instruct the trial court to render an order requiring that all of Exxon’s claims against Lexington and all of Lexington’s defenses to Exxon’s claims proceed in arbitration,” the opinion states.
“We remand the cause to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s opinion.”
Lexington is represented in part by Darin Brooks, attorney for the Houston law firm Gray Reed & McGraw.
Attorneys Danny Van Winkle, Gilbert I. Low, Mike Morris, Nathan M. Brandimarte and Jack Carroll represent ExxonMobil.
Appeals case No. o9-16-00357-CV
Trial case No. D-196093