Liability Cap Does Not Exclude Defense Costs for Loss Related to Deep Water Horizon

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Tred R. Eyerly analyzes the case Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. Houston Cas. Co. et al.

May 1, 2019
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The Texas Supreme Court found that Lloyd's endorsement imposing a cap on liability for a joint venture did not exclude coverage for defense costs. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. Houston Cas. Co. et al., 2019 Texas LEXIS 53 (Texas Jan. 25 2019j.

Pursuant to a joint venture agreement, Anadarko held a 25% ownership interest in the Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico. When the well blew out, numerous third parties filed claims against BP entities and Anadarko. Many of the claims were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL). The MDL court granted a declaratory judgment finding BP and Anadarko jointly and severally liable. BP and Anadarko reached a settlement in which Anadarko agreed to transfer its 25% ownership interest to BP and pay BP $4 billion. In exchange, BP agreed to release any claims it had against Anadarko and to indemnify Anadarko against all other liabilities arising out of the Deepwater Horizon incident. BP did not agree, however, to cover Anadarko's defense costs.

Anadarko had a policy through Lloyd's. The policy provided excess-liability coverage limited to $150 million per occurrence. Lloyd's paid Anadarko $37.5 million (25% of the $150 million limit) based upon Anadarko 25% ownership in the joint venture. Anadarko argued that Lloyd's still owed all of Anadarko's defense expenses, up to the $150 million limit.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at


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