Nicholas B. Carter and James Kossuth of Todd & Weld LLP have succeeded in obtaining a favorable ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts holding that an insurance company had a duty to defend a policyholder's landlord and franchisor against a personal injury suit brought by the policyholder's employee.
Todd & Weld represented the policyholder, whose employee was seriously injured after falling from the client's roof while attempting to repair a piece of equipment. The client had agreed to indemnify its landlord and franchisor for any claims brought against it and named them in its insurance policy. When the employee sued the landlord and franchisor, the insurance carrier refused to cover for the indemnification on the basis of an “intra-insured” exclusion. Without coverage, the potential exposure to the client was millions of dollars as the injured employee is now a quadripelegic.
In a ruling of first impression, the U.S. District Court Judge found that the exclusion did not relieve the carrier of its duty to defend.