United States District Court, D. Maryland
PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
TATE ANDALE, INC., Defendant.
David Copperthite United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff, Tate Andale, Inc., moves this Court for summary
judgment ("'Defendant's Motion") (ECF No.
50). Defendant seeks a ruling from the Court that it has
produced clear and positive evidence of the existence and
terms of insurance policies allegedly issued by Plaintiff.
Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant, Pennsylvania National
Mutual Casualty Insurance Company, filed an opposition to
Defendant's Motion and a cross-motion for summary
judgment ("Plaintiffs Cross-Motion") (ECF No. 52).
considering the motions and responses thereto (ECF Nos. 51,
53, 55, 57), the Court finds that no hearing is necessary.
See Loc.R. 105.6 (D.Md. 2018). In addition, having
reviewed the pleadings of record and all competent and
admissible evidence submitted by the parties, the Court finds
that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the
claims asserted. Accordingly, the Court will DENY
Defendant's Motion (ECF No. 50) and DENY Plaintiffs
Cross-Motion (ECF No. 52).
lawsuit arises out of a controversy surrounding the existence
and terms of commercial liability insurance policies
allegedly issued by Plaintiff to Defendant for coverage
stemming from 1958 to 1964. Defendant is a Maryland
corporation that was incorporated in 1957 under the name
Temco Machine Works, Inc. ECF No. 50-6 at 2-4. In 1966, Temco
Machine Works, Inc. changed its name to Tate Temco. Inc.
Id. at 7. In 1985, Tate Temco, Inc. changed its name
to Tate Andale, Inc., which is Defendant's current
operating name. Id. at 11-12. Defendant designs and
manufactures a variety of industrial products, including
industrial strainers and filters, and has "used
asbestos-containing materials in its[J industrial processes
and/or products." ECF No. 1 at 3; ECF No. 22 at 8.
Plaintiff is a Pennsylvania corporation that sells an array
of insurance coverage. See ECF No. 1 at 1, 3.
October 17.2016. Defendant wrote a letter to Plaintiff which
claimed that Plaintiff and its predecessor issued six
insurance policies providing commercial liability coverage to
Defendant effective September 20, 1958 to March 9, 1964 and
that under these policies, Plaintiff was obligated to
indemnify Defendant for asbestos claims by third parties. ECF
No. 1-1 at 2-3. On December 6, 2016, Defendant sent Plaintiff
a correspondence alleging that it had settled multiple
asbestos-related claims within the coverage of the alleged
policies for $1, 720, 000, plus $1, 606, 106 in defense
costs, and demanding that Plaintiff "immediately
acknowledge and fulfill its coverage obligations." ECF
No. 1-2 at 3-4. Plaintiff subsequently searched its business
records and did not find anything to support Defendant's
claim that Plaintiff issued any commercial liability
insurance policies to Defendant. ECF No. 1 at 4-5; ECF No.
53-6, ¶¶ 12-19; ECF No. 53-19, ¶¶ 2-8.
Defendant then provided copies of "'secondary
evidence" purported to support its position, including
an insurance schedule prepared by its insurance broker, a
notice of claim, and a February 18, 1994 letter from
Plaintiff, but not a copy of the alleged policies because
Defendant does not possess a copy. ECF No. 22 at 9-10.
Defendant provided several documents relating to an asbestos
bodily injury claim brought by Charles Danielson around 1986.
ECF Nos. 50-14, 50-15. 50-16, 50-17, 50-18. 50-19, 50-20.
Included in these documents is a check dated August 6, 1987
that appears to be issued by Plaintiff to Defendant in the
amount of $833.54 for "[p]ro-rata share of incurred
expenses" in the Danielson claim. ECF No. 50-18 at 3.
Defendant relies upon this check and the other Danielson
documents to demonstrate that Plaintiff had previously
provided coverage for an asbestos-related claim during the
relevant period. ECF No. 50-1 at 10-11.
March 9. 2017, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against
Defendant, seeking a declaratory' judgment that Plaintiff
did not issue any commercial liability policy of insurance to
Defendant and that if any policy existed. Defendant was not
entitled to coverage under such policy, plus a reservation of
rights count. ECF No. 1. On May 12, 2017, Defendant filed a
motion to dismiss Plaintiffs reservation of rights count. ECF
No. 8. Upon reviewing the motion and the responses thereto
(ECF Nos. 12, 13), on February 6, 2018, the Court granted
Defendant's motion, dismissing the reservation of rights
count of Plaintiff s complaint. ECF No. 21.
February 21, 2018, Defendant filed an answer and
counterclaim. ECF No. 22. The counterclaim sought a declaratory
judgment that Plaintiff issued the commercial liability
policies of insurance and is obligated to provide coverage
for costs associated with past, present, and future asbestos
litigation. Id. at 13-14. The counterclaim also
included a claim for breach of contract and statutory failure
to act in good faith pursuant to section 3-1701 of the Courts
and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Code.
Id. at 14-16. Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss on
March 14, 2018. ECF No. 32. On March 28, 2018, Defendant
opposed the motion to dismiss, ECF No. 34. and on April 11,
2018, Plaintiff filed a reply, ECF No. 35. In a memorandum
opinion dated April 19, 2018, the Court granted the motion in
part and denied in part, dismissing only the statutory
failure to act in good faith claim. ECF No. 36.
October 5, 2018, Defendant filed Defendant's Motion,
seeking summary judgment in its favor on all claims asserted
by Plaintiff and all remaining counterclaims. ECF No. 50. On
October 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed an opposition to the
statement of undisputed facts contained in Defendant's
Motion, ECF No. 51, as well as its opposition to
Defendant's Motion and Plaintiffs Cross-Motion. ECF Nos.
52, 53. On November 16, 2018, Defendant filed its opposition
to Plaintiffs Cross-Motion and a reply. ECF No. 55. Finally,
on December 7, 2018, Plaintiff filed a reply. ECF No. 57.
matter is now fully briefed and the Court has reviewed both
parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, as well as
the responses thereto. For the foregoing reasons and pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), Defendant's
Motion (ECF No. 50) is DENIED and Plaintiffs Cross-Motion
(ECF No. 52) is DENIED.
Standard of Review
to Rule 56, a movant is entitled to summary judgment where
the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The Supreme Court has clarified
that not every factual dispute will defeat a motion for
summary judgment but rather, there must be a genuine issue of
material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) ("[T]he mere existence of
some alleged factual dispute between the parties will
not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary
judgment; the requirement is that there be no
genuine issue of material fact."
(emphases in original)). An issue of fact is material if.
under the substantive law of the case, resolution of the
factual dispute could affect the outcome. Id. at
248. There is a genuine issue as to material fact "if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.; see
also Dulaney v. Packaging Corp. of Am.,673 F.3d 323,
330 (4th Cir. 2012). ...