Ins. Co. of the State of Penn. v. Great Northern Ins. Co., No. 14-1991 (1st Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
An employee of Progression, Inc. suffered a serious work-related injury. Progression, a corporation headquartered in Massachusetts, had two insurance policies from two different insurers that covered this work-related injury, one with Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP) and one with Great Northern Insurance Company. Progression tendered the claim only to ISOP. ISOP made payments pursuant to the policy and defended the claim. When ISOP learned of Progression’s policy with Great Northern, ISOP filed suit in federal district court declaring that the Massachusetts doctrine of equitable contribution required Great Northern to share equitably in covering the loss. The district court granted summary judgment to Great Northern, concluding that Progression’s decision to have only ISOP cover the entire loss defeated ISOP’s action for equitable contribution. Because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) had not spoken on the issue, the First Circuit certified to the SJC the question of whether, under the circumstances presented in this case, the insured may opt to have one insurer cover the entire loss or whether either insurer may insist that both share equitably in covering the loss.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 2, 2015.