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STANDEX INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION v. ACE AMERICAN 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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ROCKINGHAM, ss.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
STANDEX ¡NTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
1l Keewaydin Drive
Salem, New Hampshire 03079
v.
SUPERIOR COURT
ACE ANíER¡CAN INSURANCE COII¡PANY
1601 GhestnutStreet
Philadelphia, PA 19101-14f84
[also
at PO Box 1000
Philadelphia, PA f 91061
P LAt N Tt FF'S CollrtpLAt NT Fg_B D ECLARATORY J U D G M ENT
NOW COMES Standex lntemational Corporation and complains against AGE
American lnsurance Company, an insurance company licensed to do business in New
Harnpshire. The Plaintiff complains as follows (and invokes this Court's authorihT
pursuant to R.S.A. 491:22):
l. Faqts and Proceedings
Standex lnternational Corporation ("Stande*) is a foreign corporation with a
principal place
of business at 1l Keewaydin Drive, Salem, NH, 03079.
ACE American lnsurance Company is a provider of property
and casualty
insurance licensed to do business in New Hampshire. lt maintains an office
address at 1601 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA. During the
periods relevant
herein, it provided a "Workers Compensation and Employers Liability lnsurance
Policy'' to Standex (policy WLR C4 438255-6), hereinafter "Workers
Compensation Policy."
The Plaintiff suffered an insurable Ioss under the above-referenced policy when a
Massachusetts employee (referenced as John Doe for the purposes of this
Compfaint) incurred a serious workplace injury on March 14,2011,
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Case 1:15-cv-00263-LM Document 1-1 Filed 07/07/15 Page 3 of 7
4.
5.
As of January 7, 2015, the total paid
amount on the claim was approximately
$443,000.00, but the claim is not closed. Further, approximately
$253,500.00
had been recovercd via lien rights on third-party recoveríes.
The Workers Compensation Policy featured a one-page
"Deductible
Endorsemenf' providing
that ACE would pay all workers compensation benefits in
the first instance and that Standex would 'reimburse us
[ACE]
for all payments
we make on your behalf as
[workers
compensation] benefits . . . up to the amount
of the Deductible Limits shown in the Schedule" (emphasis added). The
Deductible Limit as shown in the schedule was $500,000.00.
6. By email dated January 7,2015, ACE advised $tandex that, in the event the total
workers compensation claim amount exceeded the deductible amount (in effect
ending ACE's right to ¡eimbursement), ACE would claim it had a priorþ right to
any lien recovery such that the lien recovery would first be applied to any
amounts paid by ACE in excess of the deductible. ln effect, ACE claimed that a
lien recovery would benefit Standex only to the extent lien funds remained affer
ACE had reimbursed itself for amounts it had paid in excess of the deductible.
ACE thereby claimed a
priority interest (over Standex) in any lien recovery.
7 ACE's claimed priority with respect to allocating the benefits of third-party lien
recoveríes is not supported by any provision in the deduc{ible endorsement or
any other provision in the policy. ln fact, the language in the deductible
endorsement favors priorþ for Standex, insofar as it provides that the deductible
is satisfied once ACE has made workers compensation claim payments in the
amount of the deductible limit. There is no polícy provision stating that, for
purposes of the deductible, lien recoveries are to be applied first and foremost to
reduce the loss exposure of ACE at the potential expense of Standex, There is
no express policy provision speciffing which party to the insurance contract will
have a prioritywith respect to lien recoveries.
8. Standex anticipates that the total workers compensation benef¡ts paid will be of
such an amount that the manner of allocation of any lien recoveries will
signilTcantly affect the amount it pays under the deductible endorsement.
ll. Claims for Relief
9. Plaintiff repleads the prior
allegations insofar as relevant.
10. The Deductible Endorsement supplied in the ACE policy does not support ACE's
claím for priority with respect to the funds made available by lien recoveries, and
ACE s
position is without support in the policy.
2
Case 1:15-cv-00263-LM Document 1-1 Filed 07/07/15 Page 4 of 7
11 As written, the policy supports a priority for Standex, as the endorsement, reað
literally, provides that the duty of Standex to reimburse ends when the claimant's
benefits reach the limit of the deductible.
12. lf the policy is viewed as ambiguous, then the matter should be resolved against
ACE, the drafter and provider
of the
policy.
13. lnsurers intending to claim a priority in circumstances such as exist here do so by
adding special language to the deductible endorsement providing
expressly for
such a priority. Endorsements'change'the meaning of a policy,
so the
prevalence of an insurer-favorable endorsement on the matter of priority is a
strong indication that a
policy without such an endorsement is not insurer-
favorable.
14. ACE has asserted its entitlement to priority without identifying any policy
language or provision supporting such a priority.
15 Pursuant to R.S.A. 49'l:22-a, it is ACE that has the burden of proving its
coverage position, and to date ACE has offered no proof whatsoever, either by
reference to the policy, statute, or case law.
16. Pursuant to R.S,A. 491:22-b, Standex, should it be the prevailing party, is entitled
to its costs and reasonable attomeys'fees in pursuing this action.
Wherefore, Plaintiff requests:
a) That this Court declare that the defendant ACE must accord Standex
priority with respect to the effect of lien recoveries upon the
polícy
deductible;
That the defendants be required to file with this Court a certified copy of
the insurance policy
in question;
That it be awarded costs and attorney fees, in accordance with the New
Hampshire statutes (R.S.A. 491:22'¡; and,
That it be awarded all such other and further relief as this Court deems
equitable and
just.
b)
c)
d)
3
Case 1:15-cv-00263-LM Document 1-1 Filed 07/07/15 Page 5 of 7
Dated: may
¿{zorc
Respectfu lly subm itted,
Standex lnternational Gorporaüon,
By and through its attomeys,
Kazan, Shaughnessy & llfcDonald, PLLC
B, Kazan, Esquire
Bar# 1315
746 Ghestnut Street
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 64+4357
By:
4
Case 1:15-cv-00263-LM Document 1-1 Filed 07/07/15 Page 6 of 7
Merrimack Gounty Sheriffs Office
SHERIFF SCOfi E, HILLIAR.D
333 DanielWebster Hwy
Boscawen, NH 03303
Phone: 603-796-6600
ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY
2I SOUTH FRUIT ST
coNcoRD, NH 03301
AFFIDAVIT OF SERV]CE
MERRIT{ACK ss
al 1
lts
T, SERGEANT MARK ,f LOOMIS, this day at t43o a-,^./P.û., summoned the
wíthin named defendant, ACE ANIERICAìÍ INSURANCE COMP.AI{Y, by leaving at the
offíce of Roger Sevigny, Insurance Commissíoner for the State of New
Hampstrire, its t,rue and lawful attorney for the service of process under,
ana Uy virgue of, Chapt.er 405:10 NH RS.A as amended, tv¡o Urue and attested
copieã of this Summons and Complaint and f paid said Commissioner for the
SUãte twenty-five
($25.00) dollars as theír fee for acceptingr serviee.
FEES
Service
Postage
Travel
Pd ItrH Ins. Commissíoner
Copies
$2s.00
1.00
r.5.00
25.00
5.00
TOTAL $7r_.00
MARK ,J LOOMIS
County Sheriff
's
Office
ATTEST:
rr1

îRUS
DeputY
Case 1:15-cv-00263-LM Document 1-1 Filed 07/07/15 Page 7 of 7

Published under a Creative Commons License By attribution, non-commercial
date: 
Tue, 2015-07-07
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