United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant/Counter-Claimant
Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company's Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant Zurich American Insurance
Company's Fourth Cause of Action .
in the 1950's, St. Joseph Lead Company ("St. Joseph
Lead") conducted certain lead mining operations. ECF No.
1 at ¶ 7. In 1970, St. Joseph Lead's name was
changed to St. Joe Minerals. From 1981 to 1994,
Defendant/Counter-Claimant Fluor Corporation owned St. Joe
Minerals, (“St. Joe”), which operated a lead
smelter facility in Herculaneum, Missouri. Id. at
¶ ¶ 7, 12. In 1994, Fluor sold its interest in St.
Joe to the Renco Group, Inc., which renamed the company The
Doe Run Resources (“Doe Run”). Id. at
American Insurance Company issued general liability policies
at certain periods from December 31, 1958, to June 1, 1985
(the "Zurich Policies"), to St. Joseph Lead and St.
Joe Minerals. ECF No. 1 at ¶ 12. In addition, Hartford
Accident and Indemnity Company issued certain primary
liability policies to Fluor from 1981 to 1987 (the
"Hartford Policies"), under which Doe Run, as
successor to St. Joseph Lead and St. Joe Minerals, is an
additional insured. Id. at ¶ 19.
in 1995, various parties, including Fluor and Doe Run, were
sued for bodily injury and property damage claims arising
from St. Joe's lead smelter facility in Herculaneum,
Missouri (hereafter referred to as the “Herculaneum
Claims”). Id. at ¶¶ 22-23. In 1998,
Zurich filed suit against Hartford for contribution to the
defense and indemnity of Doe Run and Fluor in the Herculaneum
Claims, in Zurich Insurance Company v. Hartford Accident
& Indemnity Company, et al., Orange County Superior
Court, California, No. 791336. Id. at ¶ 21. In
2004, a final judgment was entered holding that Hartford
provide coverage for Doe Run and Fluor (and contribution to
Zurich) once certain retrospective premiums in the Hartford
Policies were satisfied. Id. Those retrospective
premiums have been satisfied. Id.
2005, certain residents of Herculaneum filed claims against
Fluor, Doe Run, and others in the Missouri Circuit Court,
Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit in the City of St. Louis,
Missouri, for alleged injuries arising from the operation of
the smelter, including the period 1981 through 1994.
Id. at ¶ 23. In September 2005, Fluor tendered
seven lawsuits (the “Herculaneum Lawsuits”),
including Alexander, et al. v. Fluor Corporation, et
al., Heilig, et al. v. Fluor Corporation, et
al., Pedersen, et al. v. Fluor Corporation, et
al. (the “Alexander/Pedersen/Heilig
Litigation) to Zurich for a “full and complete
defense” under each of the Zurich Policies. Fluor's
Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts in Support of its
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (“FSUMF”),
ECF No. 221-1 at ¶ ¶ 5-11. Zurich agreed to defend
Fluor in these lawsuits pursuant to a reservation of rights.
Id. at ¶¶ 15-21.
November 18, 2010, a mediation of the Herculaneum Lawsuits
involving representatives from Fluor, Doe Run, Zurich, and
the underlying plaintiffs was conducted. Id. at
¶ 28. After this mediation, on December 13, 2010, Doe
Run reached a settlement with plaintiffs in the remaining
Herculaneum Claims, including the plaintiffs in the
Alexander/Pedersen/Heilig Litigation (“Doe Run
Settlement”). ECF No. 1 at ¶ 24. Fluor was not
included in the Doe Run Settlement. Id. at ¶
25. Fluor never requested Zurich fund any settlement on its
behalf at that mediation nor at any subsequent mediation of
the Alexander/Pedersen/Heilig litigation.
Id. In March 2012, Zurich made payments to Doe Run
through a settlement (the "Zurich-Doe Run Global
Settlement") to resolve disputes with regard to coverage
for the Doe Run Settlement. Id. at ¶ 29. Zurich
alleges the Zurich-Doe Run Global Settlement payments
exhausted the Zurich Policies for the Herculaneum Claims.
Id. at ¶ 30.
claims against Fluor in the
Alexander/Pedersen/Heilig Litigation proceeded to
trial and resulted in a judgment against Fluor for $38, 527,
186 in compensatory damages, and $320 million in punitive
damages. Id. at ¶ 26. In October 2014, Fluor
entered into a settlement with plaintiffs from the
Herculaneum Lawsuits (that had settled separately with Doe
Run in December 2010) for approximately $300 million (the
“Fluor Global Settlement”). FSUMF, ECF No. 221-1
at ¶ 32.
March 29, 2016, Zurich filed suit in this Court, asserting
five separate claims in its Complaint. Under its Fourth Cause
of Action, Zurich seeks a declaration it has no obligation to
provide contribution or indemnity to Hartford as the Zurich
Policies were exhausted by virtue of the Global Settlement
with regard to the Herculaneum Claims. Id. at
¶¶ 1, 46. The Fourth Cause of Action reads in
relevant part: “Zurich seeks a judicial determination
that the Zurich Policies were exhausted by virtue of the
Zurich-Doe Run Global Settlement with regard to the
Herculaneum Claims and the personal injury coverage in the
Zurich Policies. Upon information and belief, Fluor and
Hartford dispute Zurich's contention.” Id.
at ¶¶ 46-47. None of Zurich's other claims are
asserted against Hartford. Hartford has filed a Motion to
Dismiss  Zurich's fourth cause of action from its
Complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(1).
MOTION TO DISMISS
Motion, Hartford asks the Court to dismiss Zurich's
Fourth Cause of Action against Hartford from its Complaint
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. According to
Hartford, Zurich's claim seeking a declaration that its
Policies are exhausted is not ripe for adjudication because
it rests on contingent future events.
Standard - Motion to Dismiss
Motion to Dismiss is brought pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). See Wax'n Works v. City of
St. Paul,213 F.3d 1016, 1020 (8th Cir. 2000)
(indicating that whether a claim is ripe for adjudication
goes to a court's subject matter jurisdiction under the
case or controversy clause of Article III of the federal
Constitution). “A district court has the authority to
dismiss an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on
any one of three separate bases: (1) the complaint alone; (2)
the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in
the record; or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed