Summary Judgment Overturned in Coverage Dispute
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
May 14, 2015
In late April, the Indiana Supreme Court held that Continental Casualty Company (“CNA”) must provide insurable relief for Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (“Anthem”), reversing a lower court decision. Anthem’s expenditures were covered under their excess reinsurance policy.
Anthem, which later merged with co-defendant WellPoint Inc., was originally subject to multiple lawsuits in Florida and Connecticut for failing to pay claims in a timely manner, breach of state and federal statutes, breach of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Anthem later settled, without admitting wrongdoing or liability, a multi-district litigation that consolidated the various state actions. Anthem then sought indemnification from their reinsurers.
Anthem self-insured E&O liability coverage and also purchased additional reinsurance coverage. CNA and other implicated excess reinsurers denied coverage for Anthem’s underlying litigation expenses. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of CNA. Twin City Fire Insurance Company (“Twin City”) later joined that verdict. A court of appeals affirmed that decision.
CNA argued that (1) Anthem’s alleged conduct was not solely in performance of “Professional Services,” a requirement under their reinsurance agreement; (2) that Anthem’s coverage relief was barred under Indiana public policy; and (3) Anthem’s alleged conduct was barred under the reinsurance agreements “dishonest or fraudulent act or omission” exception. The court found that Anthem’s coverage extended to “loss of the insured resulting from any claim or claims…for any Wrongful Act of the Insured…but only if such Wrongful Act…occurs solely in the rendering of or failure to render Professional services.” The court found that Anthem’s alleged conduct fit under this guidance, as the conduct was a part of Anthems handling of health claims. The court also noted a strong presumption for the enforceability of contracts, especially between CNA and Anthem, both sophisticated parties. For these and other reasons, the court reversed the trial court and granted in large part, summary judgment for Anthem.
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