Court Decision Important to Future of Insurance Industry in W.Va.
—The law firm Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC (Spilman) announced that its litigation
team recently helped to secure a favorable ruling for its client, West Virginia Employers Mutual Insurance Company (BrickStreet), in a matter before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia (the Court). The Court decided the case of BrickStreet v. Summit Point Raceway Associates
(case # 101414) in favor of BrickStreet by holding that the company had no duty to provide deliberate intent liability insurance coverage to an employer that purchased a standard workers’ compensation insurance policy, but did not purchase deliberate intent coverage.
The Court’s decision in the Summit Point
case holds great importance for all workers’ compensation insurance carriers operating in West Virginia. Absent this ruling by the Court, insurance carriers could have been expected to provide deliberate intent coverage to any employer they insured—regardless of whether or not the employer actually purchased such coverage. Allowing such a loophole to exist would have been a serious setback to the workers’ compensation insurance privatization measures enacted by the state several years ago.
With this decision, the Court has effectively placed its seal of approval on the widely used National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) form policy, which is the standard policy used by most workers’ compensation carriers operating in West Virginia. The Court’s decision protects the business climate in West Virginia by providing workers’ compensation carriers the assurance that, when combined with the proper endorsements dealing with deliberate intent coverage, use of the NCCI form policy will not result in unexpected liability for the carrier.
The Spilman litigation team consisted of Don C.A. Parker
, Member, and Angela D. Herdman
, Counsel. “We are so pleased to have worked with our client, BrickStreet, in securing this important decision from the State Supreme Court,” explained Parker. “In my opinion, BrickStreet’s dedication to serving the needs of its insureds, combined with its integrity during this particular dispute, was crucial to the favorable outcome.”
About Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
Spilman Thomas & Battle is a full-service law firm with more than 140 attorneys. Founded in 1864, Spilman has offices in Charleston, Morgantown and Wheeling, W.Va.; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Roanoke, Va.