Friday, February 21, 2014

Summary 2014 WY 26

Summary of Decision February 21, 2014

Justice Burke delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.

Case Name: LEWIS HOLDING COMPANY, INC., a Wyoming Corporation v. FORSBERG ENGERMAN COMPANY, a Colorado Corporation, NTA, INC., an Indiana Corporation, and LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY

Docket Number: S-13-0093


Appeal from the District Court of Sheridan County the Honorable John G. Fenn, Judge

Representing Appellant: James P. Castberg, Castberg Law Office, Sheridan, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee, Forsberg Engerman Company: Weston W. Reeves and Anna M. Reeves Olson, Park Street Law Office, Casper, Wyoming. Argument by Ms. Olson.

Representing Appellees, NTA, Inc. and Lexington Insurance Company: Jason A. Neville and David E. Shields, Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, P.C. Casper, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Shields.

Date of Decision: February 21, 2014

Facts: In this insurance coverage dispute, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants Lexington Insurance Company, NTA, Inc., and Forsberg Engerman Company, and against plaintiff Lewis Holding Company, Inc. Lewis Holding challenges that ruling on appeal.

Issues: Lewis Holding presents two issues: 1. Did the trial court err in granting the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on the issue of estoppel? 2. Did the trial court err in granting the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on the issue of breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing?

Holdings/Conclusion: In the current case, the insurance agreement between Lewis Holding and Lexington plainly and unambiguously excludes coverage for damages due to mechanical failure. The doctrine of estoppel cannot be used to extend the insurance coverage to include risks that are expressly excluded by the policy. The district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Lexington and NTA. We agree with Forsberg’s assertion. Forsberg was the agent who helped Lewis Holding obtain its insurance, but it is not a party to that insurance policy. Lewis Holding does not contend that Forsberg agreed to assume liability under the insurance policy, and it offers no other factual basis or legal theory for holding Forsberg liable under the insurance policy. The district court correctly granted Forsberg’s motion for summary judgment. We have previously concluded that Lexington, NTA, and Forsberg were not liable to Lewis Holding under the insurance policy. This conclusion also establishes that these parties had reasonable bases for denying Lewis Holding’s claim. We therefore affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in their favor on Lewis Holding’s claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

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