United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
UNION INSURANCE COMPANY, as Successor in Interest to Great River Insurance Company PLAINTIFF
THE TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT, FIDELITY AND GUARANTY INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS, INC., AND UNITED STATES FIDELITY AND GUARANTY COMPANY DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
T. WINGATE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
this court are the opposing motions for summary judgment
filed by the plaintiff and the defendant. The Travelers
Indemnity Company of Connecticut and its subsidiaries filed a
motion for summary judgment under the auspices of Rule 56 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In their motion these
defendants contend that there are no material facts in
dispute and, as a matter of law, it owes no funds to the
plaintiff, Union Insurance Company. Travelers seeks a
declaratory judgment in its favor barring Union's claims
against it. [doc. no. 31].
Insurance Company (“Union”) also filed a motion
for summary judgment, asserting that Union is entitled to
judgment in its favor, as a matter of law, and asks the court
to issue a declaratory judgment that Travelers is required to
pay the amounts for which Union has sued. [doc. no.
33]. The motions of both parties, in reliance upon
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, contend that
there are no genuine issues of material fact.
heart of this dispute is Union's effort to obtain
contribution from Traveler's for a claim paid by Union,
and for which Travelers was partly liable. Travelers admits
that it has some liability under the policy in question, but
disagrees that it owes any amount over what it has already
agreed to pay, the amount Travelers claims to be its
proportionate share of a $1 million dollar policy limit.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
PARTIES AND JURISDICTION
Union is an Iowa insurance company with corporate
headquarters and its principal place of business located in
Urbandale, Iowa. Union acknowledges that it is a successor in
interest to Great River Insurance Company, the company that
wrote the polices at issue here --policies insuring Custom
Aggregates & Grinding, Inc. (“Custom”),
against liability claims.
Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, Fidelity &
Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, Inc., and United States
Fidelity & Guaranty Company are subsidiaries of the
Travelers Companies, Inc., which is a Connecticut insurance
holding company with its corporate headquarters and principal
place of business located in Hartford, Connecticut. The
Traveler's Entities will be referred to collectively as
authorized by Title 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (a),  this court has
subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims and
related motions based on diversity of citizenship. The
parties are completely diverse and the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, as
Union's complaint demands declaratory judgment regarding
an alleged debt of $291, 450. Venue is proper pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §1391. In this diversity action, the substantive
laws of the State of Mississippi apply. Klaxon Co. v.
Stentor Elec. Mfrg. Co 313 U.S. 487m 496 (1941). See
also Boardman v. United Services Auto, Ass'n,
470 So.2d 1024, 1032 (Miss. 1985); Guaranty Nat. Ins. Co.
v. Azcock Industries, Inc., 211 F.3d 239, 243
(5th Cir. 2000).
August 16, 2004, Clifford Gatlin (“Gatlin”), who
had been employed as a sandblaster and foundry worker, filed
a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi.
Gatlin alleged that his work environment had been
contaminated with silica dust, causing him to develop
silicosis, a serious health condition caused by exposure to
inhaling silica dust over a period of time. Gatlin sued, in
Hinds County Circuit Court, his employer and other
defendants, including Custom Aggregates & Grinding, Inc.
(“Custom”). Custom was one of the companies that
had supplied to Gatlin's employer sandblasting material
that allegedly contained the injurious silica.
the relevant period during which Custom was supplying
materials to Gatlin's employer and during which time
Gatlin was an employee there, Custom was insured by the
following four companies: 1) Great River Insurance Company
(whose successor in interest is Union); 2) The Travelers
Indemnity Company of Connecticut; 3) Zurich North America;
and 4) Kemper Insurance Company (collectively,
AInsurers"). These insurers had policies in effect with
Custom at different times over the relevant period. None was
in effect concurrently. Each annual policy, regardless of
which insurer issued it, carried primary liability limits of
One Million Dollars.
four of these insurers entered into a joint defense agreement
whereby each insurer agreed to contribute to the legal fees
and expenses incurred by Custom in defense of the Gatlin
lawsuit. The four companies agreed to a formula, which was
included in the joint defense agreement, that allocated a
percentage for each insurer to pay based on the proportionate
length of time of coverage that each had provided to Custom
during the relevant period (also referred to as “time
on the risk”). The continuing tort, it was determined,
spanned approximately 104 months. The Insurers agreed to a
percentage allocation of costs/liability as follows: Great
River/Union 22.86%; Kemper 22.86%; Zurich 5.71%; and
Travelers 48.57 %. The various subsidiaries and affiliates of
the Travelers Companies had insured Custom for the longest
period, and therefore, Travelers was obligated to pay the
largest part of the settlement or verdict.
13, 2007, the Insurers were informed that trial was set for
October 15, 2007.With mediation scheduled for September 27,
2007, and the trial less than a month away, Travelers and its
adjusters, together with Union and the other carriers
insuring Custom, pursued a potential settlement, with each
carrier attempting to obtain authority for a total from all
carriers of 1.5 million dollars. Travelers was a participant
in this effort and on September 24, 2007, the adjuster for
Travelers, Claudette Savwoir, informed the other insurers
that she had requested authority for her share of up to 1.5
million dollars from her superiors. This, according to Union,
was proof that up to that point, Travelers considered a
settlement above one million to be within policy limits.
though, contends that around the time of mediation, Travelers
and the other insurers discussed several legal arguments and
defenses that had not been, but needed to be, developed.
This, Travelers submits, is proof that Travelers did not
believe a settlement valuation above $1, 000, 000 was
parties participated in mediation on September 27, 2007, but
were unable to settle the claims against Custom. Custom's
co-defendant, Precision Packaging, settled with the
plaintiffs at the mediation, on confidential terms. At the
conclusion of the mediation, Custom was the only remaining
September 28, 2007, Travelers' adjuster, Claudette
Savwoir authored an email to defense counsel, Forman, Perry,
Watkins, Krutz & Tardy, regarding several legal defenses
and arguments that Travelers was pushing and that Travelers
said should have been developed a long time ago. On October
1, 2007, Claudette Savwoir and Gerald Begley, in-house
counsel for Travelers, called Custom's representative
Suzy McDonald and advised it was Traveler's position that
only $1 million in total indemnity was available to Custom
for the Gatlin lawsuit.
October 2, 2007, Custom's defense counsel made to Gatlin
an offer of $1, 000.000, which was rejected. Negotiations
continued over the next several days. On October 3, 2007, a
member of the defense team from Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz
& Tardy emailed Travelers' counsel Gerald Begley that
Custom had actually sold a lot more sand to Gatlin's
employer than plaintiff knew about and that Gatlin's
demands would go higher once this error was realized. On
October 4, 2007, with the trial set for eleven days later on
October 15, 2007, Travelers issued a “Policy Limit
Notification Letter” to Custom, reiterating its
position that a single per occurrence limit of one million
dollars total was available from all carriers collectively,
and informing all involved that Travelers would only offer
48.57 % of one million dollars or $485, 700. While Travelers
agreed to continue to honor its defense obligations,
Travelers stated it did not agree to indemnify Custom for any
amount above its 48.57 % share of the $1 million dollar
October 9, less than a week from the date of trial, which was
set for October 15, settlement was reached between Custom and
Gatlin, for the sum of $1.75 million dollars. Although the
carriers had earlier agreed on the percentage each should
pay, they disagreed on the combined policy limit and,
therefore, on the sum to which each insurer's percentage
should be applied. Union, Zurich and Kemper considered that
the entire $1, 750, 000.00 settlement agreement was within
combined policy limit. Travelers took the position that the
carriers' liability was limited to a total of one million
dollars. Travelers, then, instead of contributing a 48.57 %
share of the 1.75 million dollar settlement amount, for a
total of $849, 975.00, limited its settlement contribution to
$485, 700.00, or 48.57% of its one million dollar policy
limit, a difference of $364, 275.00.
paid its proportionate share of the 1.75 million dollars
under the formula. Union and Zurich, though, paid more than
what they believed to be the just shares they owed pursuant
to the allocation agreement. According to Union's amended
complaint [doc. no. 8 at pp. 5-6], these two carriers did
this “[t]o consummate the settlement agreement and to
avoid the pending trial with its attendant risk to the
insured ...” Defense counsel had informed the carriers
that Custom could be exposed to as much as a $5 million to
$10 million dollar liability. Union asserts that these
additional payments were not voluntary, and were made under
protest and with reservation of rights against Travelers.
settlement agreement was paid as follows:
Great River, predecessor in interest to Union
contends that what should have been paid is as
Great River, predecessor in interest to Union
was funded and consummated, and the Gatlin litigation was
dismissed in Hinds County Circuit Court by final judgment
with prejudice on April 6, 2009. Travelers contends that
Union, Zurich and Kemper made the decision to negotiate above
$1, 000, 000 and that Travelers did not consent to the
decisions being made during the settlement negotiations.
Union, on the other hand, claims that Travelers was kept
informed by emails throughout the negotiations. In any event,
when the settlement was reached on October 9, 2007, all
parties were aware of Traveler's position that it would
only be responsible for $485, 700.
the Plaintiff herein, filed a Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment [Docket No. 1] with this Court on May 8, 2009 and,
with leave of the court, an Amended Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment [Docket No. 8] on August 21, 2009. The Amended
Complaint asks this Court to “declare the appropriate
method in Mississippi for allocation of insurance coverage
for a continuing tort for which the occurrence took place
over a span of years which involved insurance policies
provided by multiple insurance companies.” [Docket No.
8 at p. 7].
August 30, 2010, the Defendant, Travelers, filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment [Docket No. 31]. Union also filed its Motion
for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 33] on that same date. This
court has conducted hearings and conferences on the
parties' opposing motions, and has requested and received
additional briefing and proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law. The parties have also submitted a joint
stipulation of facts. The Court must now consider these cross
judgment is appropriate "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 judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c); Copeland v. Nunan, 250 F.3d 743
(5th Cir. 2001) citing Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The rule
"mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate
time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails
to make a sufficient showing to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial."
Celotex at 322. The substantive law establishes those
elements on which a plaintiff bears the burden of proof and
only facts relevant to those elements are considered for
summary judgment purposes. Id.
allegations, speculation, unsubstantiated assertions, and
legalistic arguments are not an adequate substitute for facts
demonstrating a genuine issue for trial. TIG Ins. Co. v.
Sedgwick James of Wash. 276 F.3d 754. 759
(5th Cir. 2002); SEC. v. Recile, 10 F.3d
1093, 1097 (5th Cir. 1997); Little v. Liquid
Air corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)
(en banc). In reviewing the evidence, factual controversies
are to be resolved in favor of the nonmovant "but only
when both parties have submitted evidence of contradictory
facts." Little, 37 F.3d at 1075. When such
contradictory facts exist, the court may "not make
credibility determinations or weigh the evidence."
Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530
U.S.133, 150 (2000).
TRAVELER'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
cases are brought to federal courts on diversity grounds,
state substantive law applies. James v. State Farm Mut.
Auto. Ins. Co., 743 F.3d 65, 69 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing
Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938)).
See also Boyett v. Redland Ins. Co., 741 F.3d 604,
607 (5th Cir. 2014) (court held that “when subject
matter jurisdiction is based on diversity, federal courts
apply the substantive law of the forum state”). This
court, then, must apply the substantive laws of the State of
Mississippi in making its decision.
Voluntary Payment Doctrine
in its motion for summary judgment, asserts that the payments
made above $1, 000, 000 for settlement of the Gatlin
litigation, were ‘voluntary payments' and Union
cannot look to Travelers for recompense. Accordingly, this
Court first must look to whether Union's payment toward
the settlement of the Gatlin case was a voluntary
payment. If the payment was voluntary, Union is not allowed
to recoup the purported “excess” monies it paid
in settlement of that lawsuit and the court need not inquire
further. Summary Judgment would then be granted in favor of
Travelers. A[A] voluntary payment cannot be recovered
back…” Genesis Ins. Co. v. Wausau Ins.
Co., 343 F.3d 733, 736 (5th Cir. 2003).
contrast, if the purportedly “excess” payment
made by Union was not voluntary, this court must proceed to
its next inquiry- whether the $ 1.75 million dollar
settlement amount exceeds the maximum aggregate liability
amount for all four insurers combined and, if so, what
amount, if any, is Travelers required to pay to Union? If
either question cannot be resolved without deciding issues of
material fact, the case must be submitted to a fact-finder.
Both sides, however, contend that there are no material
issues of fact to adorn this issue.
case which discusses the voluntary payment doctrine is
Genesis Ins. Co. v. Wausau Ins. Co.,
decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. There, two
insurers, Genesis Insurance Company and Wausau Insurance
Company (hereafter “Genesis and Wausau”), agreed
to pay for the defense and expenses of their insured, The
President Casino (hereafter “President”). A
customer had been seriously injured on the property of
President by a casino-owned shuttle being driven by a casino
employee. Both the automobile liability policy issued by
Genesis and the premises liability policy issued by Wausau
were implicated. Genesis Ins. Co. v. Wausau Ins.
Co., 343 F.3d 733 (5th Cir. 2003).
and Genesis contended that their contributions to the
settlement in that case had not been voluntary, but were the
product of compelling circumstances created by Wausau.
Wausau, they argued, by notifying the other companies of its
intention to deny coverage with respect to a premises
liability claim less than a month and a half before trial,
had deprived both President and Genesis of the ability to
mount an adequate defense. They claimed, therefore, they had
been forced into participating in the settlement. The
district court had disagreed, holding that, as a matter of
law, a “lack of timely notice” does not shield
them from the voluntary payment doctrine.
appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit affirmed the district court's decision that
Wausau's conduct did not compel President and Genesis to
“throw their hats into the settlement ring.”
Genesis at 738.” The appellate court amplified
that the voluntary payment doctrine requires: (1) that there
be no prior agreement by the parties to litigate coverage
following settlement (e.g., parties agree that one will pay
but they reserve the right to resolve coverage issues later);
and (2) payments must not be made by virtue of legal
obligation, by accident/mistake or made under compulsion.
Genesis at 738 (citing McDaniel Bros. Constr.
Co., Inc. v. Burk-Hallman Col., 175 So.2d 603,
605 (Miss. 1965).
pressure for payment amounts to compulsion, the court said,
citing 16 Lee R.Russ. Couch on Insurance §223.28 (3d ed.
Where a person pays an illegal demand, with full knowledge of
all the facts which render the demand illegal, without an
immediate and urgent necessity to pay, unless it is to
release his or her person or property from detention or to
prevent an immediate seizure of his or her person or
property, the payment is voluntary. It is only when, in an
emergency for which a person is not responsible, the person
is compelled to meet an illegal exaction to protect his or
her business interest that he or she may recover the payment,
but if, with knowledge of the facts, that person voluntarily
takes the risk of encountering the emergency, the payment is
voluntary and may not be recovered.
66 Am.Jur.2d § 109 (emphasis added) as quoted in
Genesis at 739.
dilemma, the Fifth Circuit said in Genesis, first,
lacks the sense of immediacy often accompanied by compelled
payments, and secondly, “the stakes, in the event that
President and Genesis refused to participate in the
settlement, were of an insufficiently dire magnitude to
justify finding that their settlement contributions were
compelled.” Genesis at 739. By way of
examples, the Genesis Court cited to Mobile Telecomm
Tecnologies Corp. v. Aetna Cas. and Sur. Co., 962
F.Supp. 952 (S.D.Miss. 1997) and Alcoa Steamship Co. v.
Velez, 285 F.Supp. 123, 125 (D.Puerto Rico 1968) In
Mobile Telecomm, . the district court found there
was no compulsion where the insurer had a choice between
making payments on its insured's $2 million legal bill or
awaiting coverage determination and possibly paying an
additional amount for the insured's interim financing. On
the other hand, in Alcoa Steamship Co., the district
court held that the employer's payment of a workmen's
compensation insurance premium was compelled, when the
employer was faced with the alternative of losing all
coverage. Id. at 125.
like the plaintiff in the Genesis case, Union claims
that Travelers= eleventh hour notice of limitations of
coverage and the risk of exposing the insured to a much
higher jury verdict compelled Union's action to settle.
Genesis, however, stands for the proposition that
even when the time of the trial is close or when the other
insurer does not give timely notice of its intent to deny
coverage, an insurer is not compelled to settle.
Id., 343 F.3d at 738 As Travelers points out, the
Genesis case supports its contention that Union was
not compelled to make the payment that it did to settle the
Genesis, the Fifth Circuit recognized that there was
a dearth of Mississippi case law defining Aunder compulsion@,
and stated that the Court had to be guided by fact scenarios
to reach the ultimate answer in the various cases presenting
the “under compulsion” question.
Genesis was decided, more jurisprudence has been
developed on the issue of voluntariness and contribution,
especially by the Mississippi Supreme Court. After Genesis
was decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the
Mississippi Supreme Court, in 2009, decided Guidant
Mutual Ins. Co. v. Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America,
which addressed the voluntary payment doctrine. The
Guidant case involved a volunteer fire fighter who
had caused an accident while driving his personal vehicle on
the way to fight a fire. He was a volunteer for the Marshall
County, Mississippi, Fire Department. His auto insurer,
Guidant Mutual Insurance Company (“Guidant”) and
Indemnity Insurance Company of North America
(“INA”), the business automobile insurer for
Marshall County, Mississippi, disputed which of them was the
primary insurer. Guidant Mutual Ins. Co. v. Indemnity
Ins. Co. of North America, 13 So.3d 1270 (Miss. 2009).
refused to participate in settlement negotiations despite
being notified of the ongoing conversation, and while being
asked to do so by Guidant. When INA refused to contribute to a
settlement, Guidant settled and paid the claim, then sued INA
for contribution. INA contended that Guidant had made a
voluntary payment pursuant to the volunteer payment doctrine
and thus could not recover any contribution from INA.
Guidant. v. Indemnity, 13 So.3d 1270 (Miss. 2009).
highest court disagreed, holding that Guidant was entitled to
move forward with its claim of contribution against INA.
Guidant v. Indemnity, 13 So.3d 1270, 1280 (Miss.
2009). Where an insurer makes a settlement owed, at least in
part, by another, state law should not reward the insurer
that refuses to participate in the settlement. The court
continued, stating that INA was liable to the insurer, which
properly undertook a burden of settlement, or defense, for
contribution up to its stated limits of liability,
if Guidant could prove it was legally liable to
settle, and that the amount it paid was reasonable.
Guidant v. Indemnity, 13 So.3d 1270, 1280 (Miss.
2009) (citing State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Allstate
Ins. Co., 255 So.2d 667 (Miss. 1971).
Mississippi Supreme Court's disposition in
Guidant, was controlled by State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Allstate Insurance
Co., 255 So.2d 667 (Miss. 1971). In State Farm,
the Court stated:
The majority of cases now recognize the undesirability of
rewarding the insurer which refuses to honor its contractual
obligations, and hold that payment by an insurer which
properly undertakes a burden of settlement or defense does
not render it a volunteer, not entitled to recover.
Id. (quoting 8 Appleman on Insurance §
State Farm, the Mississippi Supreme Court considered
a case where an automobile owner had two insurance policies
in effect. State Farm investigated the accident, and after
determining that its insured would be liable for all damages
and injuries, State Farm then made a demand on the other
insurer, Allstate, to contribute to a settlement. Allstate
refused. After negotiating and settling with all parties,
State Farm thereafter sued Allstate for one-half of the $2,
380.00 amount paid by State Farm in total settlement of all
suit, Allstate responded that State Farm had been a volunteer
as to the payment of $1, 190.00, one-half of the total
settlement, because State Farm's contract of insurance
contained an ‘other insurance' clause. That clause,
contended Allstate, provided that in the event there is
another insurer against the same loss, State Farm would be
liable for no more than its proportionate share, based on the
relative policy limits of the two companies. In that
litigation, the two insurers had equal liability limits, so
each would have been responsible for one-half of the loss. If
State Farm was not contractually obligated to pay but
one-half of the total, Allstate reasoned, the other half it
paid was purely voluntary.
Mississippi Supreme Court disagreed, stating that Allstate
had lost sight of its obligation to its insured, as stated in
its own policy. The Court there stated that both insurance
companies “had entered into solemn contracts for a
premium to defend the insured … against any and all
claims, and to act in his [the insured's] best interest
in negotiating and settling all claims made against
him.” That duty, the Court said, “transcends any
hypertechnical right of either insurer to pay only in strict
accord with the ‘Other Insurance' clause of each
contract.” State Farm v. Allstate at 669. The
court continued, “[s]urely, Allstate should not be
allowed to take advantage of its own wrong. Surely it should
not be rewarded for breaching its contract with its insured
by refusing to defend him in any manner.” Id.
continuing this mindset, established that, provided the
amount is within policy limits, a payment is not voluntary if
the insurer was legally liable to settle and the amount it
paid was reasonable. Id. at 1280.
argues that in the instant case, its contractual obligation
to defend Custom created a legal liability to settle because
the insurance contract implicitly requires that Union place
Custom's best interests before its own. Union also points
to Travelers' unwillingness to provide sufficient funds
to reach a settlement agreement as a breach of Travelers'
duty to act in the best interest of the insured. Union
compares Traveler's conduct to INA's refusal to
defend or contribute to the settlement in the
says its conduct is different from that of INA in the
Guidant case. Explains Travelers, INA (a) did not
participate in negotiations, (b) discontinued paying legal
defense costs and (c) refused to pay any part of the
settlement. Travelers states it: (a) paid its share of the
legal defense of Custom; (b) participated in settlement
negotiations up until a week before the trial date; and (c)
tendered what it contended was its proportionate share of the
submits a counter argument, pointing to a federal district
court case that was reconsidered based on the
Guidant decision as evidence that the
Guidant decision should control here and allow for
contribution. In Travelers Property Casualty Co of
America v. Federated Rural Electric Ins. Exchange,
Travelers sued Federated for contribution after Travelers
paid a settlement in a wrongful death case against the two
insurance companies' mutual insured. Travelers v.
Federated, Civ. Action No. 3:08-cv-83 DPJ-JCS, 2009 WL
2900027 (Sept. 3, 2009). In that case, Federal District Court
Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, originally found that Travelers
was "a volunteer for purposes of the settlement funds
based on the Fifth Circuit's holding in Genesis
that the mere "payment under 'protest' or
accompanied by a unilateral reservation of rights will not
escape the application of the volunteer doctrine."
Id. at 14.
one week after the district court's ruling in favor of
Federated Electric in Travelers v. Federated, the
Mississippi Supreme Court handed down its decision in
Guidant. The district court reconsidered its ruling
in Travelers Property Casualty v. Federated Rural
Electric, based on the Guidant decision. Judge
Jordan reversed his prior decision based on a policy
exception to the voluntary payment doctrine first articulated
by the Mississippi Supreme Court in State Farm Mut. Auto.
Ins. Co. v. Allstate Ins. Co and then re-affirmed in the
Guidant decision. The District Court described this
exception as Aa policy that reduces gamesmanship among
carriers at the expense of injured parties and insureds.@
Id. at 20.
Guidant, remember, the Mississippi Supreme Court
held that Guidant was entitled to contribution from INA if
Guidant could prove that “it was legally liable to
settle” and that the amount paid to the plaintiffs was
reasonable. Guidant Mutual Insurance Company v. Indemnity
Insurance Company,13 So.3d 1270, 1280 (hereafter
Guidant I). In Guidant I, The Mississippi
Supreme Court reversed the Circuit Court of Marshall County,
Mississippi and remanded the case. On remand, the Circuit
Court Judge for Marshall County granted summary judgment to
Guidant on the contribution issue, allowing Guidant to
collect contribution from INA. INA appealed and that case of