Westlake Chemical files suit against insurers over coverage of damages from tank car rupture

By Carrie Bradon | May 20, 2019

MOUNDSVILLE – A chemical company alleges several insurance companies failed to indemnify it for losses incurred when a chlorine tank car ruptured in Proctor in 2016.

Axiall Corp. and Westlake Chemical Corp. filed a complaint in Marshall Circuit Court against National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co., et al. alleging breach of contract and other counts.

The suit states that Westlake is the owner and operator of a chemical plant in Proctor. The defendants agreed to insure real and personal property against all risks of physical loss or damage, the suit states. 

On Aug. 27, 2016, the suit states a chlorine tank car ruptured at the Westlake plant, causing damages and losses to insured property. Westlake alleges it provided proper notice to the defendants of its losses and requested coverage according to the policies. 

The suit states the defendants sent a reservation of rights letter to Westlake on Jan. 18, 2018, and began to raise coverage defenses about the its claims. Westlake alleges the defendants failed to explain why they had not raised the concerns sooner. Westlake alleges it has provided all the paperwork required and requested but the defendants denied coverage on April 9.

The suit states Axiall is the named insurer on all of the insurance policies at issue.

The plaintiffs are seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas C. Ryan and Travis L. Brannon of K&L Gates LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The case has been assigned to Judge David Hummel Jr.

Marshall Circuit Court case number 19-C-59

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