Skip to Navigation
The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY v. AUTORIDAD DE LOS PUERTOS DE PUERTO RICO et al

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
3:14-cv-01042 Search Pacer
Court Type: 
Federal
Date Filed: 
Jan 16 2014

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT
TO THE HONORABLE COURT:
COMES NOW, Plaintiff ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company ("ACE")
through the undersigned attorney, respectfully states, alleges and prays as follows:
1. ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company ("ACE") brings this
declaratory action against the Puerto Rico Ports Authority seeking a judgment defining
the scope of the contractual duties owed by ACE, if any, under an insurance policy
issued to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority ("PRPA") as a result of a certain lawsuit filed
against PRPA. This court is the first court, whether federal or local, to have jurisdiction
over this contractual dispute between ACE and PRPA.
2. Ivyport Logistical Services, Inc. ("Ivyport"), Alfonso Fernandez-Cruz
("Alfonso Fernandez") and Maria de los Angeles Navas-Pavia ("Maria Nava") are
included as parties to this case as they filed the aforementioned lawsuit against PRPA,
and are therefore potentially indispensable parties to this declaratory action.
3. ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Company ("ACE") is an insurance
company organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with its
principal place of business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where it is domiciled.
4. The Puerto Rico Ports Authority ("PRPA") is a public corporation
organized under the laws of Puerto Rico, and is domiciled in Puerto Rico.
5. Ivyport Logistical Services, Inc., is a corporation organized under the laws
of Puerto Rico, and is domiciled in Puerto Rico.
6. Alfonso Fernandez-Cruz is a natural person of legal age, domiciled in
Puerto Rico.
7. Maria de los Angeles Navas-Pavia is a natural person of legal age,
domiciled in Puerto Rico.
8. This court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332,
inasmuch as plaintiff ACE on one hand, and defendants PRPA, Alfredo Fernandez-Cruz
and Maria de los Angeles Navas-Pavia on the other, are citizens of different states, and
the controversy between the parties relates to coverage for a claim in excess of the
jurisdictional amount of $75,000.00.
9. Venue is proper in this district, as ACE issued the policy to PRPA who in
turn is a Puerto Rico public corporation, and the policy was delivered to PRPA in Puerto
Rico.
10. Ivyport was a tenant of PRPA at the Luis Munoz Marin International
Airport, and while there, offered ground handling services to various airlines. Prior to
July 31, 2008, Ivyport had a long standing history of not paying rent to PRPA, and had
even defaulted on a rent repayment plan. PRPA evaluated its options regarding Ivyport,
and after seeking legal advice, PRPA decided it would revoke certain access permits
used by Ivyport employees in order to provide ground handling services to its clients.
11. On July 31, 2008, PRPA executed its decision and revoked the access
permits of several Ivyport employees. The following morning Ivyport immediately filed
for and obtained a preliminary injunction, which resulted in the access permits being
restored that same day.
12. On August 6, 2008, Ivyport filed suit against PRPA in Carolina, Puerto
Rico, which was assigned civil action number F DP2008-0300. An amended complaint
was filed thereafter on September 6, 2011. In its lawsuit, Ivyport alleges that on or
about July 7, 2008, PRPA had contacted COPA Airlines and Liat Airlines, then clients of
Ivyport, telling them they should seek ground handling services elsewhere because
effective July 31, 2008, Ivyport would no longer be able to service them.
13. In the aforementioned lawsuit Ivyport also claims that on July 31, 2008,
PRPA in fact revoked Ivyport's access permits (although these access permits were
reinstated on August 1, 2008). Ivyport also claims PRPA did not allow it to protect its
equipment, and that this action on behalf of PRPA amounts to an illegal seizure of its
property.
14. Ivyport claims that as a result of PRPA's actions, it lost COPA, Liat and
Iberia airlines as clients, and was put out of business. Specifically, Ivyport claims it lost
COPA and Liat as clients because PRPA urged these airlines to cease doing business
with Ivyport, thereby interfering with Ivyport's contractual relationship with these entities.
Ivyport also claims that because it was unable to service other clients who had flights
coming in the evening of July 31 and the morning of August 1, 2008, it lost additional
clients.
15. Ivyport claims that as a result of being shut down, it lost its business and
had to cease operations. Ivyport claims it is entitled to recover from PRPA the value of
its business lost, which it alleges is in excess of $15,000,000.00.
16. Mr. Alfredo Fernandez and Mrs. Maria Navas who are co-plaintiffs with
Ivyport, claim that at the time of the incident they were shareholders and officers of
Ivyport, and claim to have suffered mental anguish as a result of PRPA's actions in
excess of $1,500,000.00.
17. The specific policy in question is a general liability policy, number
AAPN00980080004, issued by ACE to PRPA and effective from August 20, 2007 to
August 20, 2008. A true and correct copy of this policy is attached as Exhibit A, and
will be hereinafter referred to simply as the "policy".
18. The policy provides five coverage parts, A through E, See Exhibit A.
These five coverage parts are as follows:
Coverage A - Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Coverage B - Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
Coverage C - Medical Payments
Coverage D - Hangarkeepers Liability
Coverage E - Non-owned Aircraft Liability
]d, p. 7 (the page number refers to the page of the pdf document that comprises
the policy).
19. The Insuring Agreement of Coverage A provides in part:
1. Insuring Agreement.
a. We will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to
pay as damages because of "bodily injury" or "property damage" to
which this insurance applies...
b. This insurance applies to "bodily injury" and "property damage" only if:
(1)The "bodily injury" or "property damage" is caused by an
"occurrence" that takes place in the "coverage territory"; and
(2) The "bodily injury" or "property damage" occurs during the policy
period; and
(3) The "bodily injury" or "property damage" arises out of your "airport
operations".
JgLp. 8.
20. The policy contains the following definitions relevant to Coverage A:
6. "Bodily injury" means:
a. Bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by any person,
including death resulting from any of these at any time; or
b. Fright or mental anguish sustained by a person.
Id^p. 25.
17. "Property damage" means:
a. Physical injury to tangible property, including all resulting loss of
use of that property. All such loss of use shall be deemed to occur
at the time of the physical injury that caused it; or
b. Loss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured. All
such loss shall be deemed to occur at the time of the "occurrence"
that caused it.
Id, p. 28.
14. "Occurrence" means an accident, including continuous or repeated
exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions.
Id, p. 27.
21. The coverage afforded under Coverage A is limited in part by the following
exclusions:
2. Exclusions
This insurance does not apply to:
a. Expected or Intended Injury
"Bodily injury" or "property damage" expected or intended from the
standpoint of the insured. This exclusion does not apply to "bodily
injury" resulting from the use of reasonable force to protect persons or
property.
n. Damage to Impaired Property or Property Not Physically Injured
"Property damage" to "impaired property" or property that has not been
physically injured, arising out of:
(1)A defect, deficiency, inadequacy or dangerous condition in "your
product" or "your work"; or
(2) A delay or failure by you or anyone acting on your behalf to perform
a contract or agreement in accordance with its terms.
Id, p. 8, 11.
22. The Insuring Agreement for Coverage B in turn provides in part:
1. Insuring Agreement.
a. We will pay those sums that you become legally obligated to pay as
damages because of "personal injury" or "advertising injury" to which this
insurance applies...
b. This insurance applies to:
(1) "Personal injury" caused by an offense excluding advertising,
publishing, broadcasting or telecasting done by or for you;
(2) "Advertising injury" caused by an offense committed in the course
of advertising your goods, products or services;
but only if:
(a) The offense was committed or alleged to have been committed
unintentionally by you or any of your employees while engaged in
their employment by you; and
(b) The offense was committed or alleged to have been committed in
the "coverage territory" during the policy period and arises out of
your "airport operations".
Id, p. 12.
23. The policy in turn defines "Personal Injury" in part as follows:
15. "Personal Injury" means injury, other than "bodily injury", arising out of
one or more of the following offenses:
a. Mistaken arrest, detention or imprisonment;
b. Malicious prosecution;
c. The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the
right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a
person occupies by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor;
d. Oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a
person or organization or disparages a person's or organization's
goods, products or services;
e. Oral or written publication of material that violates a person's right
of privacy;
f. Unintentional discrimination, including unintentional humiliation;
g. Misdirection of a passenger by an insured to the wrong aircraft,
automobile or other connecting transportation; or
The offenses described in paragraph f. of this definition do not include
personal injury arising out of the employment, past employment or
future employment of a person by any insured.
Id., p. 27-28. (The cited policy language includes the changes to subparagraph f.
that are provided for in Endorsement No. 21 of Exhibit A, which is at p. 64 of the
exhibit).
24. Coverage B is subject to the following exclusions, among others:
2. Exclusions.
This insurance does not apply to:
a. "Personal injury" or "advertising injury":
(1) Arising out of any oral or written publication of material, if done
by or at the direction of the insured with knowledge of its falsity;
(2) Arising out of any oral or written publication of material whose
first publication took place before the beginning of the policy
period;
(3) Arising out of the willful violation of a penal statute or ordinance
committed by or with the consent of the insured;
(4) For which the insured has assumed liability in a contract or
agreement. This exclusion does not apply to liability for
damages that the insured would have in the absence of the
contract or agreement; or
(5) Arising out of the conduct of any airmeet, contest or exhibition
permitted, sponsored or participated in by any insured. This
exclusion does not apply to static displays.
Id, p. 12-13.
25. There are also other exclusions listed in Section II of the policy which
apply to all coverage parts. In relevant part, this Section II, titled "Common Coverage
Exclusions", provides:
All Coverages included in this policy are subject to the following
exclusions.
A. Noise and pollution and other perils
1. This policy does not cover claims directly or indirectly occasioned
by, happening through or in consequence of:
(a) noise (whether audible to the human ear or not), vibration,
sonic boom and any phenomena associated therewith,
(b) pollution and contamination of any kind whatsoever,
(c) electrical and electromagnetic interference,
(d) interference with the use of property;
unless caused by or resulting in a crash fire explosion or collision or
a recorded in-flight emergency caused by abnormal aircraft
operation.
Id, p. 17.
26. ACE seeks a declaratory judgment finding that the ACE policy issued to
PRPA does not cover the damages claimed by Ivyport in its complaint.

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.