United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Employers Preferred Insurance Co. (“Employers”)
brought this declaratory judgment action against defendant
Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. (“Hartford”)
seeking a judgment that Hartford has a duty to contribute an
equal share of any liability for the workers'
compensation benefits relating to the death of Mike Ernst.
Both parties moved for summary judgment (Hartford, #18;
Employers, #21). The motions are fully briefed and ready for
following facts are undisputed except where indicated. Paul
Hoeckele is the president of Hoeckele's Bakery
Incorporated (“the Bakery”). Mr. Hoeckele's
wife, Angela Hoeckele, is the secretary, bookkeeper, and
accountant for the Bakery. In 2013, Mrs. Hoeckele signed an
application to renew the Bakery's workers'
compensation insurance policy it had with Hartford. Hartford
issued a policy (“Hartford Policy”) that provided
coverage from July 20, 2013, to July 20, 2014. Mrs. Hoeckele
paid the Hartford Policy's premium. Mr. Hoeckele was
unaware that she paid the premium.
weeks after Hartford issued its policy, Mr. Hoeckele applied
for a workers' compensation policy with Employers.
Employers issued a policy (“Employers Policy”)
that covered the same period as the Hartford Policy. At this
point, Mr. Hoeckele did not realize the Bakery was insured by
two policies and thought he cancelled the Hartford Policy by
applying with Employers.
A. How This Insurance Applies
This workers compensation insurance applies to bodily injury
by accident or bodily injury by disease. Bodily injury
includes resulting death.
1. Bodily injury by accident must occur during the policy
B. We Will Pay
We will pay promptly when due the benefits required of you by
the workers compensation law.
(#1-1 at 28; #1-2 at 50).
policies also include this “Other Insurance”
We will not pay more than our share of benefits and costs
covered by this insurance and other insurance or
self-insurance. Subject to any limits of liability that may
apply, all shares will be equal until the loss is paid. If
any insurance or self-insurance is exhausted, the shares of
all remaining insurance will be equal until the loss is paid.
(#1-1 at 31; #1-2 at 51).
Bakery's employee, Mr. Ernst, was killed in the course of
his employment on May 14, 2014-a date covered by both the
Hartford Policy and the Employers Policy. A workers'
compensation claim was filed against Employers. It agreed to
cover and defend the Bakery.
in May 2014, an insurance agent informed Mr. Hoeckele that
the Bakery still had coverage under the Hartford Policy. Mr.
Hoeckele told the insurance agent he had cancelled the
Hartford Policy. The insurance agent explained that the
Hartford Policy was still active and that its premium had
Mr. Hoeckele had not intended to remain covered under the
Hartford Policy, the insurance agent said Hartford would
return the premium payment. Then, Mr. Hoeckele signed a
cancellation form for the Hartford Policy. The parties
dispute when Mr. Hoeckele intended for the cancellation to
take effect. For this Memorandum and Order, the Court
assumes Mr. Hoeckele retroactively ...