Stack to hear motions Monday in dispute over company's lawsuit indemnity

Amelia Flood Oct. 22, 2009, 11:57am


Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack is slated to hear motions in a dispute between a company sued by a sub-contractor's injured employee and the insurance company it claims was supposed to cover it.

All pending motions including pending pleas for summary judgment are scheduled to be heard at 10: 30 a.m. on Oct. 26.

Plaintiff Big River Zinc Company alleges that Chicago-based Zurich-American Insurance Company breached the state's Insurance Code and its contract by failing to indemnify it from a claim filed in 2003. According to its complaint, Big River was sued by James and Linda Hadley over an injury James Hadley allegedly suffered while working for a subcontractor, J.F. Electric, at Big River's Sauget facility.

Big River claims that its contract with J.F. Electric included the provision that Big River be covered against lawsuits under J.F. Electric's insurance policy.

According to the suit, Zurich-American rejected Big River's defense when it was submitted in 2007, causing Big River to incur $100,000 in defending the Hadley suit.

Big River argues it was wrongfully denied coverage it already had under its contract with J.F. Electric.

The Sauget company seeks damages of $100,000 and the costs of defending the Hadley suit, pre and post-judgment interest, attorneys' fees, costs and penalties to be levied against Zurich-American up to $60,000.

Zurich-American contends that it was not obligated to cover Big River and that it never did so. Zurich-American has a pending counterclaim for declaratory judgment asking Stack to declare that it is not responsible for indemnifying Big River.

William Knapp represents Big River.

Francis Spina and others represent Zurich-American.

The case is Madison County case number 08-L-685.

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