United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ATLANTIC SPECIALTY INSURANCE CO., ET AL.
PHILLIPS 66 CO.
ORDER AND REASONS
E. FALLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are five motions before the Court: Phillips 66 Company's
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on La. R.S. 9:2780.1 (R.
Doc. 20) and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Atlantic
Specialty Insurance Company's Duty to Defend (R. Doc.
21); Blanchard Contractors' Motion for Summary Judgment
on La. R.S. 9:2780.1 (R. Doc. 32), Atlantic Specialty
Insurance Company's Motion for Summary Judgment on
Insurance Coverage (R. Doc. 30); and Excess Underwriters'
Motion for Summary Judgment (R. Doc. 55). Having considered
the parties' briefs and the applicable law, the Court now
issues this Order and Reasons.
insurance coverage dispute arises out of a natural gas
pipeline explosion. A master services agreement
(“MSA”) between Blanchard Contractors, Inc.
(“Blanchard”) and Phillips 66 Company
(“P66”) governed the work on the pipeline and
included a “knock-for-knock” indemnity agreement,
whereby Blanchard agreed to indemnify P66 for personal injury
claims of Blanchard employees, regardless of fault, and vice
versa. The MSA also required Blanchard to procure general
liability insurance naming P66 as an additional insured.
of P66 and Blanchard were performing a “pigging”
operation on a segment of the pipeline when the explosion
occurred. The pipeline was carrying commingled, raw grade
natural gas liquid from a gathering facility in Venice,
Louisiana to the Enterprise Norco Fractionation Plaint in
Norco, Louisiana, where it would be fractionated and
processed. R. Doc. 20-3 at 2. Blanchard employees Desmond
Calloway and Jacob Jambon sued P66 for personal injuries
stemming from the explosion, and P66 demanded defense and
indemnity from Blanchard. Blanchard presented P66's
claims to its insurer, Atlantic Specialty
(“Atlantic”), and Atlantic filed this declaratory
judgment suit seeking a declaration that the indemnity and
insurance provisions in the MSA are void and unenforceable
under the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act, La. R.S. 9:2780.1. In
response, P66 filed a counterclaim against Atlantic and a
third-party demand against Blanchard, seeking a declaration
that the indemnity and additional insured provisions of the
MSA are valid and enforceable. Finally, Excess Underwriters
subscribing severally to Policy No. TMU-407387 (“Excess
Underwriters”) move for summary judgment that P66 is
not an additional insured under their policy and is owed no
coverage. R. Doc. 55.
Applicability of the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act
moves for partial summary judgment on its counterclaim and
third party demand. P66 asks the Court to issue a judgment
(1) declaring that the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act does not
invalidate the indemnity and insurance provisions in the MSA
and (2) dismissing with prejudice Plaintiffs' claims
seeking a declaration that the indemnity and insurance
provisions are unenforceable.
opposes and moves for summary judgment that the Louisiana
Anti-Indemnity Act voids any duty to defend or indemnify P66
for personal injury claims of Blanchard employees.
Atlantic Specialty's Duty to Defend
moves for partial summary judgment that Atlantic owes a duty
to defend P66 in the underlying Calloway and
Jambon suits. Atlantic opposes and moves for summary
judgment holding that any duty to defend P66 is void under
the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
judgment is proper “if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). “Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of
summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon
motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which the party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.” Id. A party
moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating the basis for summary judgment and identifying
those portions of the record, discovery, and any affidavits
supporting the conclusion that there is no genuine issue of
material fact. Id. at 323. If the moving party meets
that burden, then the nonmoving party must use evidence
cognizable under Rule 56 to demonstrate the existence of a
genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 324.
genuine issue of material fact exists if a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1996). “[U]nsubstantiated assertions, ”
“conclusory allegations, ” and merely colorable
factual bases are insufficient to defeat a motion for summary
judgment. See Hopper v. Frank, 16 F.3d 92, 97 (5th
Cir. 1994); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50. In ruling
on a summary judgment motion, a court may not resolve
credibility issues or weigh evidence. See Int'l
Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally's Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263
(5th Cir. 1991). Furthermore, a court must assess the
evidence, review the facts and draw any appropriate
inferences based on the evidence in the light most favorable
to the party opposing summary judgment. See Daniels v.
City of Arlington, Tex., 246 F.3d 500, 502 (5th Cir.
2001); Reid v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 784
F.2d 577, 578 (5th Cir. 1986).
Applicability of the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act
Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Act (“LAIA) invalidates
indemnity and insurance ...