Friday, September 3, 2010

OneBeacon Insurance prevails in dispute with Shaggy Defense

The cover of Shaggy's single
It Wasn't Me

On Monday, Judge Susan Illston dismissed a complaint against OneBeacon Insurance Company and OneBeacon Insurance Ltd. when the companies simply averred that they were not damages suffered by Jeff Drazan and Rosie O'Driscoll.

Someone sued Frontbridge Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  Frontbridge sought defense and indemnification from Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. who was owned by OneBeacon Insurance Co.  Atlantic Mutual refused to defend the claim, so Frontbridge settled and assigned its interest in the action against Atlantic Mutual for breach of contract and fraud to Jeff Drazan and Rosie O'Driscoll.

In the present case, OneBeacon seeks to be dismissed from the case stating that the insurance contract is with Atlantic Mutual and not itself.  This is a formulation of what I call the 'Shaggy Defense'.  In his ballad, 'It Wasn't Me' Shaggy is confronted by a series of allegations of infidelity including eyewitnesses who caught him 'on the bathroom floor' 'on the counter' 'on the sofa' 'in the shower' and evidence on camera.  Shaggy's friend advises that he say it was someone else, 'it wasn't me'.

So when a party denies even being at the scene of the action, the burden is on the plaintiff to show she saw him on the floor/counter/sofa/shower or on camera to indicate that the right person is being sued.  Here, OneBeacon produced a copy of the insurance contract showing that it was not a party to the transaction.  Since the plaintiffs could find nothing to indicate to the contrary, Judge Illston dismissed OneBeacon from the case.

The case is Drazan v. Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. Case No. 10-1371 and the opinion is below the jump.

Here is the opinion:

Drazan v. OneBeacon

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