Insurer Prohibited from Bringing Separate Contribution Action in Subrogation to Rights of Suspended Insured

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An insurer may not file its own action to assert claims solely as a subrogee of a suspended corporation, where the corporation could not otherwise assert the claims on its own behalf.

January 15, 2019
Christopher Kendrick & Valerie A. Moore - Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

In Travelers Property Casualty Co. of Amer. v. Engel Insulation, Inc. (No. C085753, filed 11/30/18), a California appeals court held that an insurer may not file its own action to assert claims solely as a subrogee of a suspended corporation, where the corporation could not otherwise assert the claims on its own behalf.

In Engel, a homeowners association filed a construction defect action against the developer, Westlake. Travelers defended Westlake as an additional insured on the policy of a subcontractor. After the case settled, Travelers brought a subrogation action against another subcontractor for contribution to the defense costs. However, Westlake had its corporate status suspended for failure to pay taxes, and the subcontractor moved for judgment on the pleadings, which was granted.

Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at ckendrick@hbblaw.com
Ms. Moore may be contacted at vmoore@hbblaw.com



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