Barber Law Group - firm news

Mar. 03, 2010

Barber Law Group prevails at Summary Judgment in Bank of America case
The district court of Western Washington granted Barber Law Group's motion for summary judgment in the case of Bank of America N.A. v. Travelers Indemnity Co.

Barber Law Group client, Wausau, insured Bank of America, which acted as trustee of a widow sued by Safeway Corporation in connection with petroleum contamination in Seattle.  The Bank did not notify Wausau of its claim until after it had settled with Safeway, and the Bank's settlement was less favorable than that of the two oil company defendants despite a lesser likelihood that the Bank's trust beneficiary significantly contributed to the contamination. 

Over the course of the coverage litigation, all other insurer defendants settled with the Bank in an attempt to isolate Wausau and force it to pay all defense costs accrued in the action, about $1.8 million.  The Bank also attempted to shift responsibility for litigation of its claims against Wausau to the widow beneficiary of its trust.  The Bank's efforts failed.  Instead of paying $1.8 million, Wausau will not pay any past costs at the site and instead will recover $13,000 in litigation costs from the Bank.