Continental Holdings, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and American Motorists Insurance Company

(Client: Liberty Mutual)

Barrasso Usdin obtained a second victory related to the issue of whether claims for hearing loss, due to long-term occupational exposure to noise, constitute disease or accident for purposes of coverage under a Compensation/Employer’s Liability (“WC/EL”) policy. The Fifth Circuit again held that long-term occupational noise induced hearing loss claims constituted “bodily injury by disease” claims under the terms of a WC/EL Policy, such that they were barred by the Policy’s thirty-six months exclusion. In doing so, the Court again rejected the argument that occupational hearing loss claims constituted accidents under Louisiana workers compensation law, even when considering preferred medical evidence by the plaintiff regarding the nature of long-term occupational hearing loss claims. The Fifth Circuit’s decision affirmed the district court’s dismissal with prejudice of the plaintiff’s claims against the insurer for indemnification. The Fifth Circuit also denied the plaintiff’s petition for panel re-hearing, request for certification to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and motion to stay the mandate. The Barrasso Usdin team consisted of Judy Barrasso, H. Minor Pipes III, and Susan Rogge