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Jul 13

Baker Sterchi Obtains Summary Judgment in Insurance-Related Commercial Dispute

Baker Sterchi recently obtained full summary judgment in favor of their clients in a complex commercial dispute arising out of an agreement to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

In this case, plaintiffs alleged they entered an Administrative Service Organization Agreement that obligated Baker Sterchi’s clients to defend a workers’ compensation claim and pay workers’ compensation benefits due to any employee who suffered serious injuries after falling from a ladder. Baker Sterchi moved for summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ declaratory judgment claims. The court granted summary judgment on the basis that the agreement was not ambiguous and did not obligate the defendants to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

In a comprehensive 46-page opinion, Judge Daniel Crabtree in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas found that the agreement at issue was unambiguous and did not apply to the employer of the injured employee. Likewise, the court found that the undisputed facts did not allow reformation of the agreement on the basis of fraud or mutual mistake. The court also found in favor of defendants on plaintiffs’ claims under Kansas insurance regulations. Finally, the court found that there was no case or controversy among certain of the parties. In total, the court entered judgment in favor of defendants on each of the nine declarations sought by the plaintiffs.

The case is Eucalyptus Real Estate, LLC v. Innovative Work Comp. Sols., LLC, No. 21-4091-DDC-GEB, __ F.Supp.3d ___, 2023 WL 3750563 (D. Kan. June 1, 2023).