Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Mona Fabrication Co.

May 5, 2009

NAUTILUS INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MONA FABRICATION CO., THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTER, INC., NORTHWEST GENERAL CONTRACTORS, INC., AND PATRICK TRACEY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George W. Lindberg Senior U.S. District Judge

Hon. George W. Lindberg

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before The Court are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by plaintiff Nautilus Insurance Company ("Nautilus") and defendant Muslim Community Center, Inc. ("MCC"). Nautilus' complaint names three additional defendants, Mona Fabrication Co. ("Mona"), Northwest General Contractors, Inc. ("NGC"), and Patrick Tracey ("Tracey"). Nautilus served the additional defendants with summons and a copy of the complaint between October 16, 2008 and November 4, 2008. The additional defendants did not appear, or answer the complaint. Accordingly, on January 21, 2009, the Court entered a default order as to Mona, NGC, and Tracey. MCC is the only defendant that appeared and answered Nautilus' complaint.

In its motion, Nautilus seeks the entry of a declaratory judgment in its favor and against all four defendants. Specifically, Nautilus seeks a finding that it does not have a duty to defend MCC, Mona, and NGC in an underlying personal injury lawsuit involving Tracey. Nautilus also seeks the entry of judgment in its favor as to MCC's counterclaim. Alternatively, MCC seeks entry of judgment in its favor and a declaration that Nautilus has a duty to defend and indemnify it in the underlying Tracey lawsuit. For the reasons set forth more fully below, Nautilus' motion is granted and MCC's motion and counterclaim are denied.

I. Relevant Facts

MCC did not file a response to Nautilus' Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Material Facts. Therefore, all of the facts in Nautilus' Local Rule 56.1 Statement are deemed admitted. Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). The following facts are undisputed unless specifically noted below. MCC is a not-for-profit religious organization that, in 2006, began building a community center in Illinois. MCC contracted with Mona and other businesses to do certain work on the community center. Illinois Steel was one of Mona's subcontractors on the community center project and employed Tracey.

This declaratory judgment action stems from a 2007 personal injury case Tracey filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois ("underlying lawsuit"). In the underlying lawsuit, Tracey named various companies -- including MCC and Mona -- as defendants. In that lawsuit, Tracey alleged that on February 12, 2007, while an Illinois Steel employee, he suffered injuries as he worked on the community center. Tracey claimed he fell to the basement level of the community center and that the injuries he sustained from the fall were caused by the negligence of MCC, Mona, and others.

As part of Mona's construction contract with MCC, Mona agreed to obtain various types of insurance, including $1 million in comprehensive general bodily injury liability insurance. Mona purchased the comprehensive liability policy from Nautilus, policy No. NC623698 ("Nautilus policy"). The Nautilus policy was in effect from December 20, 2006 through December 20, 2007 and included the date Tracey fell to the basement level of the community center. On October 3, 2007, MCC tendered its defense of the underlying lawsuit to Nautilus pursuant to the Nautilus policy. Nautilus rejected that tender and filed the instant suit seeking a declaratory judgment.

Mona was the primary insured under the Nautilus policy, but the policy also included an "additional insured" endorsement. That endorsement states: "Section II - Who is An Insured is amended to include as an additional insured the person(s) or organization(s) shown in the Schedule . . ." The Schedule does not list any specific person or organization. The endorsement also states that additional insureds include those "as required by written contract and per certificate of insurance as approved and on file with the company."

II. Legal Analysis

A. Summary Judgment Standard

To succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must show that the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any admissible affidavits do not create a genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Citrate, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The court must construe all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and must view all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

Under Illinois law, which the parties agree governs this case, insurance policy interpretation is a question of law, ripe for resolution on summary judgment. Illinois School Dist. Agency v. Pacific Ins. Co., Ltd., 471 F.3d 714, 719 (7th Cir. 2006). To determine whether an insurer has a duty to defend its insured, "the court must look to the allegations in the underlying complaint and compare these allegations to the relevant coverage provisions of the insurance policy." Native American Arts, Inc. v. Hartford Caves. Ins. Co., 435 F.3d 729, 732 (7th Cir. 2006) (quoting Crum & Forster Managers Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 156 Ill.2d 384, 189 (1993)). "[A] court must construe the allegations in the underlying complaint liberally and any doubt in coverage must be resolved in favor of the insured." Native American Arts, Inc., 435 F.3d at 732. However, "deference only goes so far; if the policy terms are unambiguous, the court must apply their plain and ordinary meaning." Id.

First, the Court turns to the issue of whether MCC is an additional insured under the Nautilus policy because it is dispositive of the pending cross-motions for summary judgment. The Court finds that MCC is not an additional insured. As set forth above, the "additional insured" endorsement in the Nautilus policy states: "Section II - Who is An Insured is amended to include as an additional insured the person(s) or organization(s) shown in the Schedule . . ." The Schedule does not list any specific person or organization. The endorsement also states ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.