Reversal on coverage and anti-suit injunctions

In GuideOne Specialty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Missionary Church, a coverage case arising from a car accident by church workers on a lunch break, the Court reversed on the duty to defend, disagreeing with the district court’s decision to consider evidence about the state tort litigation as inconsistent with Texas’s “eight corners” rule.  No. 11-10894 (July 17, 2012), op. at 9-12.  Under that rule, the pleadings about the driver’s status and activities could potentially trigger coverage, creating a duty  to defend.  Id. at 13.  The Court declined to apply a “very narrow’ exception that could apply if a coverage issue did not “overlap with the merits of or engage the truth” of the facts of the case.  Id. at 14 (citing GuideOne Elite v. Fielder Road Baptist Church 197 S.W.3d 305 (Tex. 2006)).  The Court ended by reversing an injunction against state proceedings about the accident, citing general cases about the scope of declaratory judgment actions and noting that the “relitigation exception” to the Anti-Injunction Act did not apply.  Id. at 15-16.     

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