Summary Judgment for Excess Insurer in Coverage Dispute Partially Reversed, and Criminal, Employment and Insurance Matters - Criminal Law - U.S. Fifth Circuit
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Summary Judgment for Excess Insurer in Coverage Dispute Partially Reversed, and Criminal, Employment and Insurance Matters

Amerisure Ins. Co. v. Navigators Ins. Co., No. 09-20060, concerned an action by a primary insurer seeking reimbursement from an excess insurer through equitable and contractual subrogation.  The court of appeals vacated summary judgment for defendant, on the grounds that 1) contractual subrogation placed plaintiff in the shoes of its insureds involved in the accident at issue; 2) the employer-indemnification exception barred coverage for one of the insureds; and 3) the district court needed to determine whether an individual insured was an independent contractor or an employee.

CareFlite v. AFL-CIO, No. 08-10807, involved an action seeking a declaratory judgment that certain disputes between an airline pilot union and plaintiff-airline were not arbitrable under the parties' collective bargaining agreement (CBA).  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant in part, on the ground that because the CBA did not expressly or implicitly exclude the question of whether the airline gave a pilot sufficient time to prepare for a test from the grievance and arbitration mechanism, and this question called for an interpretation and application of the CBA, the pilot and the union could seek redress through the Railway Labor Act's (RLA) arbitral mechanism to resolve this dispute.  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that the grievance concerning the pilot's discharge was not a dispute growing out of the interpretation or application of the CBA and, therefore, was not a grievance or dispute subject to the RLA's arbitral mechanism.

Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. City of Mont Belvieu, No. 09-40586, involved an action by a city against an insurer for compensation under a performance bond.  The court of appeals reversed judgment for plaintiffs, holding that the city's claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and no act of defendant excused the city's failure to bring suit within the limitations period.

In US v. Roberts, No. 09-50067, the Fifth Circuit affirmed defendants' firearm possession convictions, on the grounds that 1) the police were reasonable in conducting a "knock and talk," which was an accepted investigatory tactic; 2) the officers had affirmative information indicating the presence of weapons based on information provided by the other building residents; and 3) the requirements for a valid protective sweep were met.

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