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The judge reasoned that since an insurer's subrogation right is derivative of the rights of its insured, the insured parties' settlement with Hartford and AMICO extinguished any claim that Aetna may have had for contribution. It claims that the trial court erred in determining that the settlement extinguished Aetna's subrogation claim. Applicability of the Statute of Limitations Hartford and AMICO initially argue that even if Aetna has a valid subrogation claim, it is time barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. § 78-12-25 (four years for actions not otherwise provided for). The issue of whether cross-claims relate back to the filing of the complaint is one of first impression in Utah. After AMICO submitted its brief arguing why the Liquidating Trust was not covered, but before the issue was decided, AMICO settled with both the Liquidating Trust and Sharon Steel. One line of authority rejects the holding adopted by the trial court and reasons that because CGL policies do not define “sudden and accidental,” and because dictionary definitions vary and the drafting history of the policy is confused, the language is ambiguous.
AMICO also cross-appeals, claiming that if this court finds that Aetna does have a cause of action for equitable subrogation, the trial court erred in determining that AMICO had a duty to defend under its policies with UV Industries. Although the trial court did not grant summary judgment on the basis of the statute of limitations, this court may nevertheless affirm summary judgment on any ground that finds support in the record. They claim that since Aetna started to pay defense costs in February 1987, for which it seeks reimbursement, the bringing of the cross-claim in August 1991 was time barred. Neither of the statutes governing the filing of cross-claims or supplemental pleadings provides that these pleadings relate back to the date of the filing of the original complaint. AMICO now argues that if its settlement with the insured did not cut off Aetna's subrogation right, the trial court erred in determining that AMICO had a duty to defend. Co., 52 F.3d 1522, 1529-30 (10th Cir.1995); accord Hartford Accident & Indem.
It was agreed that UV was not in violation of the debentures.
On July 23, 1979, UV announced that it had entered into an agreement for the sale of most of its oil and gas properties to Tenneco Oil Company for 5 million cash.
FACTS: UV issued debentures that because of their value were worth significantly under face value.
Sharon (P), corporation and trustees of liquidating trust, appealed a decision, which granted summary judgment to Chase (D), indenture trustees and debenture holders.
1012 (1983) NATURE OF THE CASE: This was a dispute over the value of debentures in a sale of corporate assets.
In 1978, UV's Board of Directors announced a plan to sell Federal, one of the three companies.
UV thereupon announced that it had no further obligations under the indentures or lease guaranties, based upon the successor obligor clauses. In 1971, all milling operations at the site ceased, but the tailings remained on the site in the same uncontained piles in which they originally were dumped. In 1987, UV Trust and Sharon Steel filed actions in the state district court against several insurance companies, including Aetna, Hartford, and AMICO, to compel them to defend and indemnify UV Trust and Sharon Steel in the underlying action. However, where the defendant's claim is an “affirmative independent cause of action not in the nature of a defensive claim,” then the claim must be filed within the applicable statutory period. It is based in part upon sums that [the cross-claimant] may have to pay to [the plaintiff] and for damages for which [the cross-claimant] may be liable to [the plaintiff]”. The cross-claim involves contribution for the same defense costs that the insured sought from AMICO, Hartford, and Aetna. This potential liability is determined by referring to the allegations in the underlying complaint. AMICO claims that the allegations of the EPA's complaint, even if proved, could not give rise to liability under its policies with its insured. As a result, these jurisdictions, resorting to maxims of contract interpretation such as contra preferentum, interpret the terms of the contract against the contract's drafter and thus in favor of the insured and ultimately find that the terms “sudden and accidental” mean only “unexpected or unintended” and do not contain a temporal element. In total, ten million tons of tailings were generated and dumped in piles up to fifty feet high. Hartford, however, limited its obligation to five percent of defense costs based on a pro rata formula of the number of years it provided coverage. In general, where a defendant's claim is similar to a pure defense, then the filing of the complaint tolls the statutory period. Jur.2d Limitation of Actions § 76 (1970) (“[A]s long as the courts will hear the plaintiff's case, time will not bar the defense which might be urged thereto and which grew out of the transaction connected with the plaintiff's claim.”). The court reasoned that since the cross-claim involved payment for the same material that the plaintiff sought payment for, it was “not wholly an affirmative, independent cause of action. As was the case in Old World Artisans, Aetna's cross-claim is likewise not wholly distinct from the claim of the insured parties against AMICO and Hartford. The deal was consummated as of October 2, 1979 and resulted in a net gain of 5 million to UV.In November, 1979, UV and P entered into an agreement where P purchased all of the assets owned by UV on November 26 (i.e., Mueller Brass, UV's mining properties and 2 million in cash or the equivalent) for 8 million (1 million of Sharon subordinated debentures due in 2000 -- then valued at 86% or 3,460,000 -- plus 7 million in cash).
The proceeds of these sales and the liquid assets were to be distributed to shareholders. Shareholders approved the sale of Federal and the liquidation plan.