Miller Barondess Wins Summary Judgment Against Delaware Insurance Commissioner

Partner Sasha Frid won a summary judgment ruling on behalf of Windsor, a group of skilled care facilities, against the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware.

The Insurance Commissioner, acting as the Receiver (“Receiver”) for Ullico, a failed insurance company, sued Windsor seeking approximately $9 million in damages for Windsor’s alleged failure to pay deductibles for workers’ compensation policies issued by Ullico in the 2010-2012 period.

Windsor contended that it purchased and paid for guaranteed cost policies, under which the insured is responsible for the payment of premiums and not deductibles.  The Receiver took the position that the policies and, specifically, a large deductible endorsement to the policies required Windsor to pay deductibles.  In discovery, Windsor was able to uncover evidence that the workers’ compensation insurance policies were issued through a “captive insurance program” that Ullico approved. Both Windsor and the Receiver moved for summary judgment.

On June 30, 2022, The Honorable Barbara Scheper, Los Angeles County Superior Court, granted summary judgment in Windsor’s favor finding that the large deductible endorsement in the policies was ambiguous and that the policies must be interpreted based on the “objectively reasonable expectations of the insured.” The undisputed evidence adduced in discovery showed that Windsor understood the policies to be guaranteed cost which was in line with the captive insurance structure that was set up and approved by Ullico and numerous witnesses’ testimony.

“Our client bought and paid for guaranteed cost coverage and should have never been sued. We thank the court for its diligence in going through the extensive evidence that showed that our client was in the right,” said Sasha Frid, partner, Miller Barondess, LLP.

Trinidad Navarro in his official capacity as Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware v. S&F Management Company, LLC, et al., 19STCV43949 (L.A. Sup. Ct., filed Dec. 6, 2019) [Read the Ruling]

The Daily Journal covered the ruling in an article published on July 5, 2022 (subscription required):