Insureds Under A Policy

People in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Aledo, Azle, Springtown, Millsap, Brock, Willow Park, Hudson Oaks, and other places in Parker County and Texas need to have an understanding of who is covered in their insurance policies.
The Houston Court of Appeals, 1st District, issued an opinion in 1998, dealing with this issue. The style of the case is, Sears, Roebuck and Company v. Commercial Union Insurance Corporation. Here are some of the facts of the case.
Sears and Weingarten Realty, Inc. entered into a lease agreement whereby Sears leased space in a shopping center owned by Weingarten. Under the terms of the lease, Weingarten was required to maintain comprehensive public liability insurance protecting Sears against liability for injury to persons or property occurring in common areas of the shopping center. Weingarten purchased a commercial general liability policy from Commercial Union Insurance Corporation. The first page of the policy listed the “Named Insured” as Weingarten Realty Investors, et al. An endorsement on the second page included Weingarten Realty Investors, Weingarten Properties, Inc., WRI Holdings, Inc. and “all subsidiary, affiliated, associated, or allied companies, corporations, firms, organizations, including partnership and joint ventures as are now or hereafter are constituted for which the Named Insured has the responsibility of placing insurance and for which the other insurance is not otherwise more specifically provided.”
Troung claimed that she was assaulted on property owned, occupied, or under the control of Sears and Weingarten. She filed a personal injury lawsuit against Sears and Weingarten alleging negligence for failure to provide adequate security. Sears demanded indemnification and defense from Weingarten and Commercial Union pursuant to the lease and the CGL policy. Both Weingarten and Commercial Union denied Sears’ demand. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Sears, finding that Sears owed no duty to Troung.
Sears brought suit against Weingarten and Commercial Union to recover its expenses. Sears sued Commercial Union for breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, and violations of the Texas Insurance Code. Sears alleged that as a “named insured” it had standing.
The trial court granted judgment in favor of Commercial Union finding that Sears was not a “named insured.” Sears appealed.
The trial court judgment in favor of Commercial Union and against Sears was affirmed by this appeals court. This court said that the court may look only to the terms of the insurance policy itself. Despite the fact that Weingarten was legally obligated to provide insurance for Sears, this did not prove or demonstrate that Weingarten fulfilled its obligation to Sears. The policy unambiguously did not include Sears as a named insured. The “catch-all” paragraph was designed to insure that no related Weingarten entity was left without coverage merely because it name was not specifically listed. It does not cover Sears. Summary judgment was also appropriate on Sears’ breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, and Insurance Code causes of action.
These cases can be confusing and serve as prime examples for having an experienced Insurance Law Attorney involved.

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