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Media Alerts - In re Deepwater Horizon - Fifth Circuit
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August 30, 2013
  In re Deepwater Horizon - Fifth Circuit
Headline: Fifth Circuit Withdraws Previous Ruling in Deepwater Horizon Case and Seeks Guidance on Texas Insurance Law from State Supreme Court.

Area of Law: Insurance.

Issue Presented: Whether BP's coverage as an additional insured under Transocean's insurance policies is limited by the terms of BP's drilling contract with Transocean.

Brief Summary: This case involves an insurance coverage dispute stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP, P.L.C., sought coverage under insurance policies obtained on its behalf by Transocean Holdings, Inc., owner of the Deepwater Horizon. In response, Ranger Insurance Ltd. and several excess liability insurers (collectively, "the Insurers") filed suit against BP seeking a declaratory judgment of non-liability. BP filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings arguing that it is entitled to insurance coverage as an additional insured of Transocean and that the indemnities detailed in the Drilling Contract between BP and Transocean do not limit the scope of BP's coverage under the insurance policies. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied BP's motion and entered a partial final judgment in favor of the Insurers. BP appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit initially reversed the district court's judgment. Following the Insurers and Transocean's petition for rehearing, the Fifth Circuit withdrew its previous ruling and has now certified determinative questions to the Supreme Court of Texas regarding the interpretation of state insurance laws in the instant case.

For the complete opinion, please see

Panel: Circuit Judges Jolly, Benavides, and Higginson

Argument Date: 12/3/2012

Date of Issued Opinion: 8/29/2013

Docket Number: No. 12-30230

Decided: Previous opinion withdrawn; questions certified to Texas Supreme Court

Case Alert Author: Barira Munshi

Counsel: Michael John Maloney, Maloney, Martin & Associates, for Plaintiff - Appellee Ranger Insurance, Ltd.; Steven Lynn Roberts, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, L.L.P., for Intervenor Plaintiff - Appellee Transocean; David B. Goodwin, Covington & Burling, L.L.P., for Defendant - Appellant BP, P.L.C.; Richard N. Dicharry, Phelps Dunbar, L.L.P., for Plaintiff - Appellee Certain Underwriters at Lloyds London.

Author of Opinion: Judge Jolly

Case Alert Circuit Supervisor: Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

    Posted By: Aaron Bruhl @ 08/30/2013 11:02 AM     5th Circuit  

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