Khalimsky v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Barrasso Usdin defended Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in coverage litigation concerning Liberty Mutual's alleged duty to defend and indemnify an underlying wrongful-death and injury litigation arising out of a FEMA trailer explosion. The underlying claims - which involved multiple state and federal-court proceedings, several insurers, and several million dollars in potential liability - were resolved through settlements with the insurers reserving disputes among themselves on defense and indemnity issues. The case was bifurcated into two phases: an insurance-coverage phase and a damages phase. Liberty Mutual won both phases of trial before the U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana. The district court ruling was then appealed by Westchester Fire Insurance Company. Barrasso Usdin also handled the appeal and after many years and a long, hard battle, the U.S. Fifth Circuit affirmed both decisions of the lower court, resulting in a recovery of almost $5 million for Liberty Mutual. H. Minor Pipes, III, John W. Joyce, and Catherine Fornias Giarrusso represented Liberty Mutual.