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

TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA et al v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY 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: 
5:14-cv-01306 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Travelers Property Casualty Company of America
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Central District of California
Date Filed: 
Jun 27 2014

Comes now Plaintiffs, TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY
OF AMERICA and TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT
(collectively referred to as "Plaintiffs" or "TRAVELERS") and plead the following
allegations on information and belief in support of their Complaint herein:
1. The present action seeks equitable contribution and a judicial declaration
concerning the rights and obligations as to TRAVELERS and ACE AMERICAN
INSURANCE COMPANY with regard to defense fees and costs incurred in the
action entitled, The Regents of the University of California v. M-E Engineers, Inc., et
al. Superior Court for Riverside County Case no. RIC 1106018 (the "Underlying
Action").

JURISDICTION
2. Plaintiff TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF
AMERICA, is now, and at all relevant times was, a corporation, existing under the
laws of the State of Connecticut with its principal place of business in Hartford,
Connecticut. TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA,
is, and at all relevant times was, an insurance carrier eligible to do business as an
insurer in the State of California.
3. Plaintiff TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT
is now, and at all relevant times was, a corporation, existing under the laws of the
State of Connecticut with its principal place of business in Hartford, Connecticut.
TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT is, and at all relevant
times was, an insurance carrier eligible to do business as an insurer in the State of
California.
4. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege Defendant ACE
AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY ("ACE") is a corporation organized and
existing under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania with its principal place of
business in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs are further informed and believe and thereon
allege that ACE is, and at all times relevant was, an insurance carrier eligible to do
business as an insurer in the State of California.
5. Defendants sued herein as DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, are sued herein
by such fictitious names because Plaintiffs are unaware of the true names and
capacities of said DOE defendants. Plaintiffs will amend this Complaint to reflect the
true names when the same are ascertained. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and
thereon allege that said DOE defendants are responsible for the acts, events, and
circumstances alleged herein, or are interested parties to this action.
6. The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, and represents fees and
costs sought in connection with the defense and/or indemnification of the parties'
mutual insured with regard to the Underlying Action.
7. The Court has diversity jurisdiction as Plaintiffs are domiciled in
Connecticut and the Defendants are domiciled in Pennsylvania, respectively.
VENUE
8. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege the acts and/or
omissions at issue in this litigation took place in this judicial district within the State
of California. The Underlying Action is pending in this judicial district. Venue,
therefore, lies with this Court, as a substantial part of the events which are the subject
of the claims asserted herein are located and/or took place in this judicial district.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
A. The Insurance Policies
9. TRAVELERS issued the following general commercial liability
insurance policies under which Alpha Mechanical Heating, Inc. ("ALPHA") was
named an insured: policy number DTE-CO-39011M489-TIL-08, from 7/1/08 to
7/1/09, policy number DTE-CO-39011M489-TIL-09, from 7/1/09 to 7/1/10, policy
number DTE-CO-39011M489-TIL-10, from 7/1/10 to 7/1/11, policy number DTECO-
39011M489-TIL-11, from 7/1/11 to 7/1/12 and policy number DTE-CO-
39011M489-TIL-12, from 7/1/12 to 7/1/13 (the "TRAVELERS Policies").
10. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege Defendant ACE
issued the following commercial general liability insurance policies under which
JOHNSON CONTROLS, INC. ("JCI") was a named insured: policy number
JY12J0432883, effective 10/1/07 TO 10/1/08 and policy number HDOG2374639688,
effective 10/1/08 to 10/1/09; (collectively referred to as "JCI Policies"). Plaintiffs are
informed and believe and thereon allege ALPHA is named as an additional insured
under the JCI Policies.
11. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege each of the
policies issued by the Defendants identified herein fictitiously as DOES 1 to 10 name
or designate ALPHA as an insured thereon, whether as a named insured or an
additional insured.
12. Defendants ACE, and DOES 1 through 10 are in possession of their
respective policies of insurance and know the terms and contents thereof, to an equal
or greater extent than Plaintiffs. However, on information and belief, Plaintiffs allege
the Defendants' policies provide an insuring agreement and are written on standard
forms which provide, in part, an agreement to defend any insured from and against
suits seeking damages potentially covered under the insurance policies and to pay any
amounts the insured is legally obligated to pay for covered damages.
13. Plaintiff is informed and believes by reason of the declarations and/or
additional insured endorsements on ACE and DOES 1 through 10's policies, ALPHA
is an insured on these Defendants' policies for purposes of the insuring agreement(s)
therein.
B. The Underlying Action
14. The Underlying Action relates to the development and construction of
the UC Riverside Commons Project No. 950440 - a multi phased student activities
center expansion at the University of California's Riverside Campus.
15. On or about April 8, 2011, The Regents of California filed their
complaint entitled, The Regents of the University of California v. M-E Engineers,
Inc., et al. Superior Court for Riverside County Case no. RIC 1106018 ("Underlying
Action") alleging the following causes of action: (1) Breach of Contract; (2)
Negligence; (3) Breach of Express Warranty; and (4) Breach of Implied Warranty.
16. ALPHA tendered its defense and indemnity with regard to the
Underlying Action to TRAVELERS as an insured under the TRAVELERS Policies.
TRAVELERS, subject to a full reservation of rights agreed to defend ALPHA in the
Underlying Action.
17. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege ALPHA tendered
its defense and indemnity with regard to the Underlying Action to ACE and DOES 1
through 10 as an additional insured under the carriers' respective policies of
insurance. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege ACE and DOES 1
through 10 denied ALPHA'S tender of defense and indemnity.
18. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that ACE and
DOES 1 through 10 are under an obligation to defend and/or indemnify ALPHA with
regard to the Underlying Action and have failed to pay their equitable share towards
the defense fees and costs and/or indemnity incurred by ALPHA.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF
(By TRAVELERS Against All Defendants)
19. Plaintiffs hereby re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation
contained in all preceding paragraphs of this Complaint as though fully set forth
herein.
20. An actual, present and justiciable controversy has arisen and now exists
between Plaintiffs on the one hand and the Defendants on the other, concerning their
respective rights, duties and obligations under the insurance policies issued by each of
them.
21. In particular, Plaintiffs contend, and are informed and believe that
Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 deny the following:
a. Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 had and have a duty to defend
and/or indemnify ALPHA against the claims, demands, actions and
causes of action asserted against ALPHA in the Underlying Action;
b. Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 had and have an equitable
duty and responsibility to pay a fair and proportionate share of the costs
of defense and/or indemnity incurred on behalf of ALPHA;
c. The costs of defending and/or indemnifying ALPHA have been and are
being borne disproportionately by Plaintiffs; and
d. The costs associated with the defense and/or indemnification of ALPHA
should be equitably apportioned between and among Plaintiffs and
Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 under applicable law and
equitable principles.
22. Plaintiffs assert and contend that declaratory judgment is both necessary
and proper at this time for the court to determine the respective rights and liabilities of
the parties regarding their obligations to pay for the defense and/or indemnification of
ALPHA against the allegations made in the Underlying Action.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION FOR EQUITABLE CONTRIBUTION
(By TRAVELERS Against All Defendants)
23. Plaintiffs hereby re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation
contained in all preceding paragraphs of this Complaint as though fully set forth
herein.
24. Plaintiffs have agreed to defend ALPHA against the claims asserted
against it in the Underlying Action, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the
TRAVELERS Policies, and subject to a full reservation of its rights.
25. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that policy(ies)
issued by Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10, provide liability insurance to
ALPHA, designating ALPHA as a named insured or additional insured thereon.
Plaintiffs are further informed and believe and thereon allege that the allegations
made, pleaded or otherwise asserted against ALPHA in the Underlying Action, if
true, set forth claims for damages potentially covered under ACE's and DOES 1
through 10's policies.
26. As such, Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10, and each of them,
are obligated to participate in the defense and/or indemnification of ALPHA in the
Underlying Action by reason of their respectively underwritten policies of insurance,
which provide an agreement to undertake the duty to defend suits seeking damages
from bodily injury or property damage potentially covered under their respective
policies.
27. All conditions precedent to Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's
obligations under their respective policies of insurance have been satisfied, waived,
and/or excused. Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's obligations to defend
and/or indemnify ALPHA are currently due and owing.
28. Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10, and each of them have to date
failed to participate in the defense and/or indemnification of ALPHA, and/or failed to
contribute a full and equitable share toward Plaintiffs' costs of defending and/or
indemnifying ALPHA which have been incurred and which are being incurred in
connection with the Underlying Action.
29. By reason of Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's failure to
discharge their obligations and equitably participate in the defense and/or
indemnification of ALPHA, Plaintiffs have incurred and/or paid, and will incur and/or
pay, more costs than they would have, had Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10
agreed to defend and/or contribute a full and equitable share to the defense and/or
indemnity of ALPHA in performance of their due and owing obligations under their
respective insurance policies.
30. Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's failure to discharge their
obligations under their respective policies of insurance is wrongful and thus causing
an inequitable result, in that Plaintiffs are paying and have paid more than its
equitable share of the costs of defending and/or indemnifying ALPHA in the
Underlying Action without the participation of Defendants in paying for such costs.
31. Because of Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's wrongful
failure to discharge their obligations under their respective policies of insurance,
Plaintiffs are entitled to an award of equitable contribution, to reimburse them for
costs equivalent to each Defendants ACE's and DOES 1 through 10's fair and
equitable proportionate share of the total costs of defense and/or indemnification
incurred in connection with the claims against ALPHA in the Underlying Action,
with interest thereon at the prescribed legal rate.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE Plaintiffs pray for judgment, as follows:
1. For a declaration of this Court of the following: (1) Defendants ACE and
DOES 1 through 10 had and have a duty to defend and/or indemnify ALPHA against
the claims, demands, actions and causes of action asserted against ALPHA in the
Underlying Action; (2) Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 had and have an
equitable duty and responsibility to pay a fair and proportionate share of the costs of
defense and/or indemnification incurred on behalf of ALPHA; (3) the costs of
defending and/or indemnifying ALPHA have been and are being borne
disproportionately by Plaintiffs; and (4) the costs associated with the defense and/or
indemnification of ALPHA should be equitably apportioned between and among
Plaintiffs and Defendants ACE and DOES 1 through 10 under applicable law and
equitable principles.
2. For general damages in an amount to be proven at trial;
3. For prejudgment interest;
4. For costs of suit herein; and
5. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

JURY DEMAND
TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA and
TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT hereby demand a
trial by jury pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 38(b).

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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