In re Essex Ins. Co. (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
“In Texas, the general rule…is that an injured party cannot sue the tortfeasor’s insurer directly until the tortfeasor’s liability has been finally determined by agreement or judgment.” Plaintiff sued San Diego Tortilla (SDT) for personal injuries after he lost his hand operating a tortilla machine. Plaintiff then added a declaratory judgment claim against SDT’s liability insurer, Essex Insurance Company, seeking a declaration that Essex must indemnify SDT for its liability to Plaintiff. Essex filed motions to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims, arguing that the “no direct action” rule barred Plaintiff from suing Essex until SDT’s liability to Plaintiff was determined. The trial court denied the motions, and the court of appeals denied Essex’s petition for writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court conditionally granted mandamus and directed the trial court to grant Essex’s motions to dismiss, holding that no exception to the “no direct action” rule applied in this case.