Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Pharmacia LLC v. Grupo De Inversiones Suramericana S.A.

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division

May 10, 2019

PHARMACIA LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
GRUPO DE INVERSIONES SURAMERICANA S.A., AS SUCCESSOR-IN-INTEREST TO COMPANIA AGRICOLA DE SEGUROS S.A. BOGOTA, COLOMBIA ET AL, Defendants.

          ORDER

          ROBERT W. SCHROEDER III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Payne (Docket No. 158) (the “Report”) recommending denial of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 118). Defendants filed an Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Docket No. 160). After considering the briefing for Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket Nos. 118, 135, 139, 145), Defendants' Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Docket No. 160) and Plaintiff's Response to the Objection (Docket No. 162), the Court agrees with the conclusions reached by the Magistrate Judge within his Report and, therefore, ADOPTS his recommendation.

         I. Background

         The Defendants[1] (collectively, “Insurers” or “London Market Insurers”) previously provided liability insurance to Pharmacia LLC (hereinafter “Monsanto”).[2] Docket No. 160 at 2; see Docket No. 162 at 2. Beginning in the 1980s, Monsanto became obligated to pay for damage and injury caused by environmental contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”). Docket No. 118 at 3. Monsanto sought to shift this burden to the Defendants, which denied the claims. Id. This prompted Monsanto to sue its insurers in Delaware for breach of their obligations under the insurance policies. Id. The Insurers and Monsanto eventually entered into a settlement agreement in 1995 wherein Monsanto agreed to release a portion of the coverage. See generally Docket No. 119-2. However, this 1995 settlement agreement included a carve-out whereby the Insurers remained obligated to provide coverage for certain claims. Docket No. 119-2 at 8. The language of the carve-out states that:

[n]otwithstanding (a) through (e) above, the following shall not constitute “Released Claims” as defined herein and, accordingly, Monsanto does not, by virtue of this Agreement, release the London Market Insurers for claims of the type described in subsections (i) through (iii) immediately below:
i. where recovery is sought (and all of the following four conditions have been fulfilled):
(1) arising out of the end-use of goods or products manufactured, sold or distributed by Monsanto; and
(2) after Monsanto has relinquished to others possession of such goods or products; and
(3) where such end-use occurs away from Monsanto's premises; and
(4) where the underlying claim against Monsanto alleges either negligence, strict liability, a defect (including failure to warn) or the ultrahazardous nature of the goods or products.

Docket No. 119-2 at 7 (emphasis added).

         After the parties executed the settlement agreement, another 740 claimants sued Monsanto and alleged that they each developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (“NHL”) from exposure to Monsanto PCBs. Docket No. 118 at 1; Docket No. 160 at 2; Docket No. 135 at 2. The parties agree that the present dispute is whether those claims properly fall within the scope of the carve-out such that Defendants are obligated to provide coverage. Docket No. 118 at 1; Docket No. 135 at 1.

         II. Procedural Posture

         In their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants argued that the claims did not seek recovery for injury from end-use of a product and, instead, merely asserted exposure to PCBs from the environment. Docket No. 118 at 19-20. Defendants argued that the carve-out did not apply unless a plaintiff's complaint made specific allegations (or the plaintiff expressly testified) that exposure came from a product in end-use. However, the Report rejected this argument, and concluded that “[a] claim seeks ‘recovery . . . arising out of end-use of a product' within the meaning of the 1995 Settlement Agreement if the pleadings, the arguments of counsel at trial, or the expert testimony seeks to impose liability at least in part based on exposure resulting from the end-use of a product in which PCBs were ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.