SCOTX answers certified questions, denies BP coverage.

In the case of In re Deepwater Horizon, the Texas Supreme Court has answered the certified questions raised in a significant insurance case about BP’s coverage related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  (No. 130670, Tex. Feb. 13, 2015.)  The issue is whether BP was an additional insured under policies obtained by Transocean, the operator of the ill-fated rig.  Applying Evanston Ins. Co. v. ATOFINA Petrochemicals, Inc., 256 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2008), the Court held that “it is possible for a named insured to purchase a greater amount of coverage for an additional insured than an underlying service contract requires,” and that “the scope of indemnity and insurance clauses in service contracts is not necessarily congruent.”  From that foundation, the court concluded: “The Drilling Contract required Transocean to name BP as an additional insured only for the liability Transocean assumed under the contract.  Accordingly, Transocean had separate duties to indemnify and insure BP for certain risk, but the scope of that risk for either indemnity or insurance purposes extends only to above-surface pollution.”

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