ExxonMobil Corp. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA (Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals in this insurance dispute, holding that an insurance policy does not incorporate by reference the payout limits in an underlying service agreement.
Two employees that were severely burned in a workplace accident at an ExxonMobil Corporation refinery sought compensation for their injuries and settled for a collective amount over $24 million. When two of Exxon's insurers, National Union Fire Insurance Company and Starr Indemnity & Liability Insurance Company, denied Exxon coverage under their umbrella policies Exxon sued both insurers for breach of contract. The trial court sided with Exxon, ruling that National Union was obligated to reimburse Exxon. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Exxon was not insured under National Union's umbrella policy. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Exxon was an insured under National Union's umbrella policy, and the court of appeals erred in ruling otherwise; and (2) because the court of appeals' holding with respect to Starr's policy was predicated on a similar error, judgment in favor of Starr must also be reversed.