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Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Illinois National Insurance Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

March 13, 2015

FIREMAN'S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CARLTON W. REEVES, District Judge.

Before the court are the parties' separate motions for summary judgment on plaintiff's declaratory judgment action. Docket Nos. 38 and 45. The parties have filed responses to their adversary's motion, see Docket Nos. 47 and 52, and they have also filed rebuttals in support of their respective motions. Docket Nos. 51 and 54. Having considered the motions and responses and being fully advised in the premises, the court finds that the motion of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) is granted, and the motion of Illinois National Insurance Company (INIC) is denied.

I. Background

Some of the factual background in the current case has been summarized in this court's previous ruling in Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Chartis Ins. Agency, Inc. , 3:12-CV-657-CWR-FKB, 2013 WL 1305602 (S.D.Miss. Mar. 28, 2013), where the court granted the motion to dismiss filed by Chartis Insurance Agency, the agent of INIC. The declaratory judgment action and the current motions involve the parties' disagreement about who is required to pay postjudgment interest-not an insignificant amount in light of the $4 million judgment obtained against the parties' insured, Intown Suites.

Intown Suites had a $1 million insurance policy with FFIC, and it maintained a $25 million policy of excess coverage with INIC. While the parties were in dispute as to which insurer was required to pay the post-judgment interest on the judgment levied against Intown Suites, FFIC paid approximately $539, 000 in post-judgment interest. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Chartis Ins. Agency, Inc. , 3:12cv657-CWR-FKB, 2013 WL 1305602, at *1 (S.D.Miss. March 28, 2013). Through the declaratory action, FFIC contends that INIC is responsible for most of that amount-"specifically all post-judgment interest that accrued after its tender of October 20, 2009." Id.

The FFIC policy states the following regarding coverage of post-judgment interest:

We will pay, with respect to any claim we investigate or settle, or any suit against the insured we defend:
* * *
All interest on the full amount of any judgment that accrues after entry of the judgment and before we have paid, offered to pay, or deposited in court the part of the judgment that is within the applicable limit of insurance.

Docket No. 40, Exhibit "B", FFIC's Insurance Policy at pp. FFIC 0142-0143 (hereinafter, "FFIC Policy"). As for INIC, its relevant policy provides:

I. INSURING AGREEMENT - COMMERCIAL UMBRELLA LIABILITY
A. We will pay on behalf of the Insured those sums in excess of the Retained Limit that the Insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages....
....
The amount we will pay for damages is limited as described in Section IV. ...

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