Summary Judgment finding no coverage affirmed by Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District
John Schultz recently had the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, affirm a summary judgment that had been entered in his client's favor in Jackson County, Missouri, on an insurance coverage dispute. In Pennsylvania Mfrs. Ass'n Ins. Co. v. Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina, 2011 WL 588502 (Mo.App. 2011), two workers' compensation insurers who issued back-to-back policies disputed who was obligated to pay workers' compensation benefits for an injury that occurred around the time that one insurer's policy (Pennsylvania) ended and the other insurer's policy (Selective) began. Pennsylvania litigated the workers' compensation claim and requested a finding as to the injured employee's date of injury. The ALJ found that the injury occurred after Pennsylvania's policy period and during Selective's policy period, but Pennsylvania paid the claim. Pennsylvania then notified Selective for the first time of the claim, and sought to recover the payment to the injured employee under a theory of unjust enrichment. Selective asserted at the trial court several defenses as to why any purported enrichment was not unjust, including that it was never timely notified of the loss; that any enrichment to Selective was conferred without Selective's knowledge, at Selective's request, or with Selective's acceptance; that Selective was deprived of its right to involve itself in the litigation, defend the claim, raise any defenses that might be unique to its coverage, and appeal the ALJ's findings; and that any payment by Pennsylvania was a voluntary payment and thus not recoverable. The trial court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of Selective, finding that Pennsylvania could not establish its unjust enrichment claim. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, has now affirmed the trial court's decision.