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MISSION SUPPORT ALLIANCE LLC v. WESTCHESTER FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY Complaint

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.

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Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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HARPER | HAYES PLLC Gregory L. Harper 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 340-8010 Attorneys for Plaintiff OLES MORRISON RINKER & BAKER LLP Robert J. Burke B. Michael Schestopol 701 Pike Street, Suite 1700 Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 623-3427 Attorneys for Plaintiff
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON MISSION SUPPORT ALLIANCE, LLC, a foreign limited liability company, Plaintiff, v. JURY TRIAL DEMANDED WESTCHESTER FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign insurance company, Defendant. Plaintiff Mission Support Alliance, LLC (“MSA”) alleges as follows: No.
CV-12-5079-TOR
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 1
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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PARTIES 1. MSA is a foreign Limited Liability Company transacting business
in Washington. 2. Defendant Westchester Fire Insurance Company (“Westchester”)
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is a foreign insurance company transacting business in Washington. 3. Westchester issued one or more liability insurance policies to
MSA to insure against certain losses. JURISDICTION & VENUE 4. MSA is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of
business in Washington. 5. Westchester is incorporated in New York and has its principal
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place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 6. Subject matter jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1)
because MSA and Westchester are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interests and costs. 7. Personal jurisdiction over Westchester is proper under
Washington’s Long Arm Statute, RCW 4.28.185, because Westchester
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transacts business within Washington by selling policies of insurance in this state, including one or more of the policies at issue in this action.
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 2
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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8.
Venue is proper in this Judicial District under 28 U.S.C. §§
1391(a) and (d) because Washington has more than one Judicial District, and Westchester’s contacts with this Judicial District are sufficient to subject it to personal jurisdiction.
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FACTUAL BACKGROUND 9. Westchester sold MSA an “ACE Express Private Company
Management Indemnity Package” with a Policy Period from November 9, 2011 to November 9, 2012 and a Policy Number of G25028867 002 (“the Policy”). The Policy includes “Directors & Officers and Company” coverage. 10. The Policy states, among other things, that Westchester “shall pay
the Loss of the Company which the Company becomes legally obligated to pay
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by reason of a Claim first made against the Company during the Policy period. . . for any Wrongful Act taking place prior to the end of the Policy Period.” 11. On January 27, 2012, MSA sent Westchester written notice of a
possible Claim under the Policy related to a possible error or omission committed by MSA in its dealings with the Department of Energy. 12. On March 9, 2012, consistent with its legal obligations, MSA sent
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a letter to the Department of Energy informing it of an error or omission.
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 3
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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13.
On March 21, 2012, the Department of Energy sent a demand
letter to MSA requesting reimbursement of $2,755,031 within 60 days relating to this error or omission. 14. By letter dates April 25, 2012, Westchester denied coverage to
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MSA for the Department of Energy’s claim. CAUSES OF ACTION COUNT I Declaratory Relief 15. The allegations of paragraphs 1 through 14 are incorporated herein
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by reference. 16. An actual controversy exists between MSA and Westchester
concerning the rights and obligations of the parties under the Policy. 17. MSA is entitled to a declaration of the rights and obligations of the
parties under the Policy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201. 18. The declaratory relief sought includes, but is not limited to,
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declarations that: (a) coverage exists under the Policy for the Department of Energy’s claim; (b) by virtue of Westchester’s denial of any obligation to MSA under the Policy, MSA is excused from complying with any of the conditions allegedly imposed by the Westchester Policy, including but not limited to the Alternative Dispute Resolution clause in the Policy; (c) notwithstanding, MSA COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 4
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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complied with all its obligations under the terms of the Policy and may properly bring this action consistent with the “Action Against Insurer” clause contained in the Policy; and (d) to the extent the Alternative Dispute Resolution clause in the Policy is deemed to apply, the Court should stay MSA’s contract
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claim (Count II) pending mediation and arbitration and allow the extracontractual claims (Count III) to proceed in this action. COUNT II Breach of Contract 19. The allegations of paragraphs 1 through 18 are incorporated herein
by reference. 20. 21. A contractual relationship exists between MSA and Westchester. Westchester owed a duty under the Policy to investigate and pay
for losses covered under the Policy. 22. Westchester breached that duty, proximately causing harm to
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MSA in an amount to be proven at trial. COUNT III Extra-Contractual Claims 23. The allegations of paragraphs 1 through 22 are incorporated herein
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by reference.
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 5
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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24.
Westchester owed MSA a duty in tort and under applicable
statutes, regulations, and common law to conduct a thorough investigation before denying its claim and to otherwise act reasonably and in good faith in investigating and analyzing coverage for MSA’s claim.
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25.
Westchester breached that duty by, among other things,
unreasonably denying MSA’s claim for insurance benefits; proximately causing damage to MSA in an amount to be proven at trial. 26. Moreover, as a result of its conduct, Westchester is estopped from
denying coverage for any liability MSA may have to the Department of Energy.
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PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, MSA requests the following relief: 1. A declaration as to the rights and obligations of the parties under
the Policies consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 2201; 2. 3. law; An award of all money damages legally available; An award of prejudgment and postjudgment interest as allowed by
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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 6
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852
Case 2:12-cv-05079-TOR
Document 1
Filed 06/15/12
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4.
An award of attorney’s fees and other costs and expenses pursuant
to Olympic Steamship Co., Inc. v. Centennial Ins. Co., 117 Wn.2d 37, 811 P.2d 673 (1991), or as otherwise allowed by law; and 5. Such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper. JURY DEMAND MSA demands a trial by jury pursuant to FRCP 38. DATED this 15th day of June, 2012. HARPER | HAYES PLLC
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By: s/ Gregory L. Harper Gregory L. Harper, WSBA No. 27311 Attorneys for Plaintiff OLES MORRISON RINKER & BAKER LLP
By: s/ Robert J. Burke Robert J. Burke, WSBA No. 8393 B. Michael Schestopol, WSBA No. 5346 Attorneys for Plaintiff
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND DAMAGES - 7
HARPER | HAYES PLLC
One Union Square 600 University Street, Suite 2420 Seattle, Washington 98101 Telephone: 206-340-8010 Facsimile: 206-260-2852

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