State Supreme Court rules in favor of utility insurers

Michael W.
May 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court said today that insurance carriers are not required to pay power utilities’ costs to install pollution equipment or to pay utilities’ legal costs to defend against lawsuits that forced them to upgrade air quality.

The 17-page, unanimous opinion upheld a decision by Hendricks Superior Judge David H. Coleman denying a motion by power companies Cinergy Corp. and Duke Energy Corp. that sought to force the insurers to pay their legal costs.

Cincinnati-based Cinergy, which was acquired by Duke in April 2006, supplies electricity to the Indianapolis area outside Marion County. Duke is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

The suit was a byproduct of a federal ruling in May 2006 that forced the utilities to cut emissions. That suit was brought by the federal government, three states and several environmental groups.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the federal ruling last year, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case in April after ruling in a similar case that utilities must install emission equipment.

Before the utilities lost the federal suit, a consortium of Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Ltd. and 19 other insurers sued in state court to determine their liabilities.

The utilities had said in the state suit that insurers were obligated to pay at least $4 million the power companies spent defending themselves in the Cinergy case—an amount exceeding the self-insured retention amount of up to $1 million.

The carriers contended the policies didn’t cover claims made against the power companies in the federal suit, and therefore had no duty to pay defense costs.


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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

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