Yousuf v. Cohlmia, No. 12-5034 (10th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In November 2004, Dr. Ashard Yousuf sued Dr. George Cohlmia and Cardiovascular Surgical Specialists Corporation (CVSS) in Oklahoma state court for defamation, tortious interference with business relations/contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress/outrage, negligence, and breach of contract. Dr. Yousuf alleged that Dr. Cohlmia made a series of false statements to local media disparaging Dr. Yousuf's professional reputation. Dr. Cohlmia denied that the statements he made were false. CVSS held a professional liability policy with Physicians Liability Insurance Company (PLICO) and two identical general commercial liability policies with American National Property and Casualty Company (ANPAC, one for each business location), each of which covered Dr. Cohlmia as an additional insured. Dr. Cohlmia demanded that both insurers provide for his defense, pursuant to their respective policies. PLICO agreed to defend the lawsuit under a reservation of rights and requested ANPAC to share in the defense. ANPAC refused, contending its policy did not cover the alleged wrongdoing and that it owed no duty to defend. ANPAC further claimed that even if it erred in refusing to defend Dr. Cohlmia, PLICO had no right to indemnification or contribution for the defense costs it incurred. ANPAC appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of PLICO in a dispute regarding ANPAC's breach of its duty to defend a co-insured. PLICO cross-appealed the district court's denial of its motion for prejudgment interest. Finding no reversible error, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision.