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

JORGENSEN FORGE CORPORATION v. ASSOCIATED INDEMNITY CORPORATION et al

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Case Number: 
2:14-cv-01524 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Jorgensen Forge Corporation
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Western District of Washington
Date Filed: 
Oct 2 2014

COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, Jorgensen Forge Corporation ("JFC"), by its attorneys, for its Complaint for
declaratory judgment and damages against Defendants Associated Indemnity Corporation,
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Oakwood Insurance Company, and Century Indemnity
Company (collectively, "the Defendants"), alleges as follows:

NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201, JFC seeks a declaration of the rights, duties, and
obligations of the parties under the liability insurance policies (the "Policies") sold by the
Defendants and their predecessors to JFC's predecessor, Earle M. Jorgensen Company ("EMJ").
Because Defendants have refused to provide coverage for JFC's defense and liability costs
arising from JFC's manufacturing plant, located on land between Marginal Way, Tukwila, WA
and the Lower Duwamish Waterway ("the Site"), actual controversies exist between the parties
for which a judgment setting forth their respective rights and obligations is necessary. JFC also
seeks damages because of Defendants' breaches of contract.
THE PARTIES
2. Plaintiff JFC is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of
Washington, with its principal place of business in King County, Washington.
3. Upon information and belief, Defendant Associated Indemnity Corporation
("Associated Indemnity") is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of California,
with its principal place of business in Novato, California. Upon information and belief,
Associated Indemnity is a subsidiary of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company ("Fireman's
Fund"). Upon information and belief, Defendant Associated Indemnity was authorized to do
business and conducted and transacted business in the State of Washington at all relevant times.
4. Upon information and belief, Defendant Fireman's Fund is a corporation
organized under the laws of the State of California, with its principal place of business in
Novato, California. Upon information and belief, Defendant Fireman's Fund was authorized to
do business and conducted and transacted business in the State of Washington at all relevant
times.
5. Upon information and belief, Defendant Oakwood Insurance Company
("Oakwood") is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Tennessee, with its
principal place of business in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon information and belief, Oakwood is
the corporate successor to Central National Insurance Company of Omaha ("Central National").
Upon information and belief, Central National was authorized to do business and conducted and
transacted business in the State of Washington at all relevant times.
6. Upon information and belief, Defendant Century Indemnity Company
("Century") is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, with its
principal place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon information and belief, Century
is the corporate successor to California Union Insurance Company ("Cal Union"). Upon
information and belief, Cal Union was authorized to do business and conducted and transacted
business in the State of Washington at all relevant times.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, because
there is complete diversity of citizenship between JFC and the Defendants, and the amount in
controversy is over $75,000.
8. Personal jurisdiction exists over each Defendant because the Defendants' contacts
with the State of Washington, including their sale of insurance policies to EMJ, satisfy the
constitutional requirement of minimum contacts with the forum.
9. Venue is proper in this State pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) because a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred in this State, and the
property that is the subject of this action is situated in this State.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND
The Insurance Policies
10. From 1972 to 1987, EMJ purchased Policies from the Defendants and their
predecessors to protect against liabilities. Associated Indemnity and Fireman's Fund sold
primary policies that provide coverage from 1972 to 1987. Central National sold excess policies
that provide coverage from 1975 to 1984. Cal Union sold an excess policy that provides
coverage from 1984 to 1987. The policy numbers and periods of coverage are identified in the
schedule of insurance policies, attached as Schedule A, and incorporated by reference as if fully
set forth herein.
11. JFC is a metal forging company that manufactures custom metal products for
technical and industrial markets. JFC's manufacturing plant is located on the Site. In June 1992,
JFC was created from EMJ and became a separate corporate entity. As part of its creation, JFC
assumed certain of EMJ's liabilities in connection with EMJ's Forge Division in Seattle,
Washington, which then became the business of JFC.
12. By contract and by operation of law, JFC is entitled to obtain insurance coverage
from the Defendants under the Policies for JFC's liabilities that involve property damage that
took place during the Policies' periods.
13. All premiums have been paid for the Policies, and JFC has satisfied all conditions
precedent to obtain coverage under the Policies.
The Claims
14. JFC seeks insurance coverage in this action for its liabilities and defense costs
related to property damage at and around the Site that took place in part during the Defendants'
Policies' periods.
15. The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and the
Washington State Department of Ecology have named JFC as a potentially responsible party
("PRP"), liable for property damage caused by environmental contamination in and around the
Site.
16. Other parties also have demanded that JFC investigate and remediate, or
contribute to the investigation and remediation, of the property damage at the Site and the
surrounding area.
17. As a result of these claims, JFC has incurred substantial costs that are covered
under the Policies.
18. JFC gave notice to the Defendants of its claims in July 2014. The Defendants
either have refused to provide coverage in violation of their contractual obligations, or failed to
respond to JFC's notice.
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Declaratory Relief
19. JFC repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1
through 18 as if fully set forth herein.
20. The Policies at issue in this action provide JFC with insurance coverage for JFC's
liabilities that involve property damage at the Site during the Defendants' Policies' periods.
21. Defendants are contractually obligated to pay JFC's liabilities.
22. JFC has incurred, and will continue to incur, liabilities associated with property
damage stemming from the Site.
23. Defendants have disputed or failed to honor their obligations to pay JFC's
liabilities.
24. An actual and justiciable controversy currently exists between JFC and
Defendants with respect to the duties and obligations of Defendants under the Policies to pay for
JFC's liabilities for property damage related to the Site.
25. JFC thus seeks a judicial determination by this Court of the obligation of the
Defendants to pay JFC's defense and liability costs with regard to JFC's liabilities for property
damage related to the Site. Such a judicial determination is necessary and appropriate at this
time under the circumstances alleged.
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Breach of Contract
26. JFC repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1
through 25 as if fully set forth herein.
27. Defendants have breached, and will breach, the contractual terms of their Policies
by failing and refusing to pay for the complete liability costs of JFC in connection with property
damage related to the Site.
28. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' breaches of contract, which is
continuing as of the date of this Complaint, Defendants have deprived JFC of the benefit of the
Policies.
29. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' breaches of contract, JFC has
suffered, and will suffer, substantial damages in an amount to be determined at trial, including,
but not limited to, the sums spent and to be spent in connection with JFC's liabilities for property
damage related to the Site.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff JFC requests a judgment against each Defendant as follows:
a) On the First Claim for Relief, a determination and declaration that
each Defendant is obligated under its respective policy to pay the defense and liability costs
incurred by JFC, or to reimburse JFC for its payment of its defense and liability costs, in
connection with JFC's liabilities stemming from the Site.
b) On the Second Claim for Relief, for damages in an amount to be
determined at trial.
c) On all claims for relief, for JFC's reasonable attorneys' fees,
pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, costs, and the expenses of this action.
d) For such other further and different relief as this Court deems just
and proper.

JURY DEMAND
Plaintiff JFC demands a jury on all claims in this Complaint triable by jury.
DATED: October 2,2014.

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.

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