Erika Bright in Law360: Texas Plant's $1M Policy Leaves Blast Victims in the Lurch

05/07/2013


The fertilizer plant that exploded in West, Texas, last month had only $1 million in liability insurance, an unusually paltry amount that will force victims to scramble to find other responsible parties who could cover some of the $100 million in expected insured losses.

West Fertilizer spokesman Daniel Keeney told Law360 on Monday that the plant had a primary liability policy with U.S. Fire Insurance Co., but no excess or umbrella policies. Keeney said he knew of no other insurance policies covering the plant, which was ripped apart by a massive explosion in mid-April that killed 14, injured 200 and destroyed about 140 nearby buildings.

On the heels of West Fertilizer's announcement, blast victims will quickly be making"reasonable" settlement demands on the plant and its carrier, according to Erika Bright, an insurance partner in Haynes and Boone LLP's Dallas office.

"Likely, the money will be paid to the first claimants that come in with reasonable settlement offers," Bright said. "The rest of them may be left without recourse."

Excerpted from Law360, May 7, 2013. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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