The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company v. Jones et al
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 3/25/2013. (jg, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, SOUTHERN DIVISION
THE TRAVELERS HOME AND,
MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY
CHARLES E. JONES; et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
Plaintiff Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company
against defendants Charles E. Jones, Charles H. Jones,
Penny Jones, Douglas Wells, Vicki Wells, Misty Wells,
Ronald Ratchford, Rebecca Ratchford, Terry James Johnson,
and two minors, H.W. and R.R.
The jurisdiction of this
court has been invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332
This matter is now before the court on Travelers Home
against the Joneses (Charles E., Charles H., and Penny).
In those motions, the insurance company asks this court
afforded no coverage, in two respects, under a policy
with the insurance company as to injury claims that have
been brought against them in state court: first, that the
insurance company does not have a duty to indemnify with
regard to the state-court action; and, second, that the
insurance company does not have a duty to defend with
regard to the state-court action.
As for the second matter (Travelers Home and Marine’s
non-duty to defend in the state-court action), the court
will grant the motions.
By order entered on June 22,
2012, this court gave the Joneses until July 9, 2012, to
show cause as to why the motions for entry of default
judgment should not be granted. They failed to respond
within the time allowed. Default judgment is therefore
due to be entered against them with respect to the
insurance company’s non-duty to defend in the state-court
However, as for the first matter (Travelers Home and
Marine’s non-duty to indemnify), the court declines to
issue the requested declaratory judgment.
against the Joneses has resulted in any of them being
held liable. Rather, “[the defendants] could prevail in
the underlying lawsuit.
With this result, the issue of
defendants] would be moot, and the court would never have
to reach the issue. ... For these reasons, the court
sufficiently ripe to present a ‘case’ or ‘controversy’
and that, if there were, the court would still, in the
Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Toole, 947
F. Supp. 1557, 1566 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (Thompson, J.).
short, because the Joneses have not yet been held liable
and there is no telling whether they will be held liable,
insurance company for speculative liability is premature.
To the extent that Travelers Home and Marine’s motions
seek default judgment in that regard, the motions will be
Accordingly, the court will grant Travelers Home and
Marine’s motions for default judgment to the extent the
insurance company seeks a judgment declaring that it does
not have a duty to defend with regard to the underlying
state-court action; the court will deny the motions to
declaring that it has no duty to indemnify.
DONE, this the 25th day of March, 2013.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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