Justia Insurance Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Utilities Law
Maryland Cas. Co. v. NSTAR Elec. Co.
When a fire caused by NSTAR Electric and Gas Company employees damaged a building owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two insurers paid the claims of the building’s tenants. The insurers then brought this complaint against NSTAR Electric Company and NSTAR Electric & Gas Company (collectively, NSTAR) seeking to recover for the claims paid. NSTAR moved for partial summary judgment, contending that, to the extent to which the insurers sought recovery for business interruption losses, the claims were barred by Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy Tariff No. 200A, filed with and approved by the Department of Public Utilities, and in effect when the explosion occurred. The tariff contained a limitation of liability clause that limited NSTAR from liability to nonresidential customers for special, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from the utility’s gross negligence. A judge of the superior court allowed NSTAR’s motion for partial summary judgment, concluding that a tariff filed with and approved by a regulatory agency may limit a public utility’s liability. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the limitation of liability clause in the tariff precluded Plaintiffs’ claims to recover for business interruption and other consequential or economic damages. View "Maryland Cas. Co. v. NSTAR Elec. Co." on Justia Law
PGE v. Ebasco Services, Inc.
Portland General Electric Company (PGE) appealed a Court of Appeals decision that reversed and remanded a trial court order that denied Lexington Insurance Company's motion to set aside a default judgment entered in PGE's favor. Specifically, the issues were: (1) whether a default judgment awarding monetary relief violated ORCP 67C if the complaint did not specify amount of damages sought; and (2) if so, whether that omission rendered the judgment voidable or void. The Supreme Court held the judgment in question here did not violate ORCP 67C and that the judgment was not void. The case was remanded to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings. View "PGE v. Ebasco Services, Inc." on Justia Law
Wis. Pub. Serv. Corp. v. Arby Constr., Inc.
The two plaintiffs in this case, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) and Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Limited (AEGIS), brought suit against the defendant, Arby Construction, Inc. (Arby), for indemnification of the damages that the plaintiffs paid in the settlement of a tort suit in federal court. The circuit court dismissed the AEGIS claim against Arby on the basis of claim preclusion. At issue on appeal was whether AEGIS raised, in the form of an affirmative defense, a cross-claim against Arby in the prior federal action and was therefore precluded from pursuing the same claim in this action because the claim was adjudicated in the federal judgment of dismissal. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, which affirmed the circuit court, holding that AEGIS's claim was raised, in substance, in the prior federal action and was decided. Therefore, the claim was subject to claim preclusion and was properly dismissed by the circuit court. View "Wis. Pub. Serv. Corp. v. Arby Constr., Inc." on Justia Law