Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati issued an opinion in the case of LM Ins. Corp. v. Canal Ins. Co. The Court’s opinion in the case is available here.
GS attorneys Charles H. Cassis and Jennifer Kaelin Luhrs represented the Plaintiffs/Appellees, LM Insurance Coproration and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Their clients had paid defense costs on behalf of their insured, Hinkle Contracting Corp., arising out of a 2008 vehicular accident. Defendant/Appellant Canal Insurance Company also insured Hinkle, but refused to defend it in the underlying lawsuit. Thus, after settling the underlying lawsuit against their insured, LM and Liberty Mutual sued Canal to recover over $421,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs that it expended in defense of Hinkle, plus pre-judgment interest. The U.S. District Court in Covington, KY granted summary judgment to LM and Liberty Mutual, and Canal appealed.
In a detailed opinion, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court. It found that Canal had the primary duty to defend Hinkle from the inception of the underlying lawsuit, that LM and Liberty Mutual were entitled to reimbursement of their defense costs, and that the District Court’s award of pre-judgment interest was proper. Cassis and Luhrs, of Goldberg Simpson’s Insurance Defense Group, represented LM and Liberty Mutual in both the District Court and the Court of Appeals.