• When non-Delaware insurer issues casualty insurance policy covering all facilities in various states, including Delaware property, it must provide claimant with notice of applicable statute of limitations or claimant’s time to file an action is tolled.
  • April 27, 2017 | Author: Jessica L. Tyler
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Wilmington Office
  • On June 25, 2013, a child slipped and fell on a wet bathroom floor at Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, which, although it is located in Delaware, is owned and operated by a Florida corporation. On July 1, 2015, the child and his guardian filed a lawsuit claiming the child sustained personal injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligence. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claim was time-barred per 10 Del. C. §8119, which imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The plaintiff countered that the statute of limitations was tolled because the defendant failed to provide him notice of the applicable time to file a claim per 10 Del. C. §3914. The defendant argued it was not subject to 10 Del. C. §3914 because its self-insured retention policy did not specifically cover a Delaware resident, Delaware property, or activities to be performed in Delaware. Instead, the defendant’s self-insured retention applied to all of its facilities in multiple states. The plaintiff asserted that the policy invariably covered liabilities arising from the Delaware hospital. The court denied the defendant’s summary judgment motion, holding that its policy covered Delaware and that the policy’s contact with Delaware was not happenstance. The court distinguished the facts from those in Ndieng v. Woodward and found: “Defendant’s policy covers the Hospital, a substantial entity that is fixed in Delaware and cannot move, and all liabilities arising from activities to be performed at the Hospital are inevitably covered by this policy.”