United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
C.R. ENGLAND, INC. PLAINTIFF
HALLMARK COUNTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY DEFENDANT
CARLTON W. REEVES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
state court proceedings, trucking company C.R. England
secured a final judgment worth $73, 762.52 against trucking
company National Translink. England subsequently sought
payment from National Translink's insurer, Hallmark
County Mutual Insurance Company, via garnishment. Hallmark
removed the dispute here.
before the Court is England's motion for summary
judgment. The familiar summary judgment standard applies, and
there are no disputed material facts. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(a).
contends that it has no duty to pay a final judgment rendered
against its insured where the prevailing trucking company has
its own insurance. It points to evidence that England
“does not carry insurance for physical damages and
business losses, rather it self-insures.” It also
points to evidence that England has cargo insurance, even
though in this case the value of the lost cargo was less than
the deductible-so again, England paid it out-of-pocket. The
crux of Hallmark's argument is that England has no rights
against it because England had insurance for cargo and
self-insures against other risks.
relies upon Fifth Circuit precedent finding, in this narrow
trucking insurance context, “no coverage for purposes
of disputes among insurers over ultimate
liability.” John Deere Ins. Co. v.
Truckin' U.S.A., 122 F.3d 270, 275 (5th Cir. 1997)
The decisions of this court indicate that the policy embodied
in the statutes and regulations was to assure that injured
members of the public would be able to obtain judgments
collectible against negligent authorized carriers. Our cases
have held, however, that this policy has no application to
coverage disputes among insurers.
Canal Ins. Co. v. First Gen. Ins. Co., 889 F.2d 604,
611 (5th Cir. 1989), modified on reh'g by 901
F.2d 45 (5th Cir. 1990). “The purpose of section 10927
and regulations is to assure to members of the
public and shippers that a certified carrier has
independent financial responsibility . . . to pay for losses
created by its carrier operations.” Id.
problem with Hallmark's argument is this: England is not
an insurance company. This is not a dispute among insurers
about who should contribute toward a final judgment. Rather,
the injured party-England-is itself attempting to recover its
losses from the tortfeasor's insurance company. Because
England is the victim, not the victim's insurer, it is
entitled to collect its final judgment from Hallmark. See
presses that England is “akin” to an insurance
company. It is true that England is (in part) self-insured,
but that is just another way of saying that England carries
no insurance for physical damages and business losses. And
although England does have cargo insurance, it did not make a
claim. England received no payout and no insurer has ever
been in a position to seek recovery or contribution from
Hallmark-scenarios in which Hallmark's argument might
have carried it farther. As it stands, though, Hallmark's
protestations are unavailing.
is the only reason Hallmark has advanced to avoid coverage,
England's motion for summary judgment will be granted. A
separate final judgment will issue this day.
 The dispute arose from the collision
of two 18-wheeler rigs traveling east along Interstate 20 in
Warren County, Mississippi. Fortunately, the only damage