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DEUTSCH KERRIGAN DEFEATS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CLAIM AGAINST INSURANCE BROKER
Bob Kerrigan and Trey Esnard of Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles (Louisiana) won summary judgment for its insurance broker client against a $900,000 claim brought by a medical clinic for business interruption losses from Hurricane Katrina.
The clinic had sued the broker alleging that the broker failed to list the constituent members of the Louisiana limited liability company as named insureds for business interruption coverage.
DKS moved for summary judgment on the basis of Louisiana’s three-year peremptive statute for claims against insurance brokers (La. R.S. 9:5606). In the civil law of Louisiana, peremption is the absolute extinguishment of a right that prevents the bringing of an action.
The clinic used an argument that had been successful in other cases against insurance brokers -- that communications with the broker in connection with the policy’s annual renewal constituted a new tort and revived the period of limitation.
The firm argued that a new tort did not occur because the communications were merely clerical in nature and did not involve the medical clinic's business interruption coverage. The court agreed and granted Deutsch Kerrigan’s motion for summary judgment. East Bank Primary Care Associates, LLC v. USI Gulf Coast, Inc., et al.