Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Continental Resources, Incorporated, No. 1:2010cv00035 - Document 36 (D. Mont. 2011)

Court Description: ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS for 32 Findings and Recommendations, 16 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, 19 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Continental Resources, Incorporated. IT IS HEREB Y ORDERD THAT Magistrate Judge Ostbys Findings and Recommendations be adopted in its entirety. Libertys motion for summary judgment is a GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and that Contintals motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as set forth in Judge Ostbys Findings and Recommedation. Signed by Judge Richard F. Cebull on 7/21/2011. (ACL, )
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Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Continental Resources, Incorporated Doc. 36 FILED BILLINGS DIV. 2011 JUL 21 AfT] 11 58 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTATRJCK E. DUFFY, CLE,K FORTHEDISTRICTOFMONTANA BY _ _ _ _ __ DEPUTY Ct.ERK BILLINGS DIVISION LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, vs. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CV 1O-35-BLG-RFC-CSO ORDER ) CONTINENTAL RESOURCES, INC., Defendant. ) ) ) On April 25, 2011, United States Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby entered Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 32) in the above captioned case. Judge Ostby recommends that Plaintiff Liberty Mutual Insurance Company's (Liberty) Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 16) be granted in part and denied in part. Additionally, Judge Ostby recommends that Defendant Continental Resources Inc.'s (Continental) Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 19) be granted in part and denied in part. The underlying facts are undisputed, accurately set forth in Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendation, and need not be recited here. Dockets.Justia.com Essentially, Judge Ostby concluded that: (1) Pioneer Drilling Services, Inc. (Pioneer) entered into a contract with Continental (the Contract) which clearly and unambiguously provides a duty to extend insurance coverage to Continental in an underlying wrongful death lawsuit (Mosby lawsuit); (2) Continental qualifies as an additional insured under the insurance policy issued to Pioneer from Liberty (the Policy); (3) Montana's worker's compensation statute's exclusivity provision does not nullity Pioneer's contractual obligations to Continental; and (4)The Policy does not extend coverage to Continental for survivor's claims of emotional distress and loss of consortium related to the Mosby lawsuit. Upon service of a magistrate judge's findings and recommendation, a party has 10 days to file written objections. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In this matter, Liberty filed an objection on May 9, 2011 (Doc, 33). Continental filed its Response on May 26,2011 (Doc, 35). Liberty's objection requires this Court to make a de novo determination of those portions of the Findings and Recommendations to which objection is made. 28 U.S.c. § 636(b)(1). Liberty takes issue with Judge Ostby's conclusion that Continental qualified as an additional insured under the Policy. Specifically, Liberty argues that Montana's Worker's Compensation exclusivity provision codified at Mont. Code Ann. § 39-71-411 nullifies any indemnification obligation on behalf of Pioneer. After a de novo review of the Contract, Policy provisions and law, the Court finds Liberty's objection unavailing. Liberty reasons that "[b]ecause Pioneer's indemnification obligation is void by virtue ofthe statute ... Pioneer's corresponding duty to insure Continental is also void ...." (Doc. 33 p. 5) The Court finds that the Contract unambiguously required Pioneer to name Continental as an additional insured. As stated by Judge Ostby, Liberty fails to draw the distinction between indemnification and providing coverage as an additional insured. See Doc. 32, p. 18. Liberty provides no compelling authority that worker's compensation exclusivity would serve to nullify coverage to Continental as an additional insured. For the reasons set forth above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: (1) Magistrate Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 32) be adopted in its entirety. (2) Liberty's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 16) be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, and that Continental's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 19) be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as set forth in Judge Ostbys Fi ings and Recommendation DATED this u.s. District Court Judge