District judge denies Liberty Mutual's motion to lift a stay

By Charmaine Little | May 13, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – Insurance company Liberty Mutual was not able to convince the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to lift a stay in its lawsuit against Integrated Pro Services LLC. 

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk ruled on the case on April 23.

In denying Liberty Mutual’s motion to lift a stay, the court said, “Liberty Mutual asserts that it has suffered a loss and that it is owed indemnity from defendants, but it has not demonstrated that it continues to incur additional losses as a result of the stay.”

It went on to say that lifting the stay would not only burden IPS and a couple who is involved in the litigation, but also create unnecessary steps for those involved. Ultimately, the court decided not to lift the stay.


U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk  

IPS bought performance surety bonds from Liberty Mutual for construction project bids. Both parties entered into a General Agreement of Indemnity wherein IPS said it would pay back the insurance company for “any payments, losses or expenses it incurred in connection with such bonds,” according to the opinion. 

One couple had interest in IPS and signed the indemnity agreement just before they sold their entire interest. IPS then entered into an agreement with Plaquemines Parish to build a level, and Liberty Mutual paid via surety bonds. The parish then put IPS in default via the contract and fired IPS. 

At the same time, IPS said it was not in default and is currently arguing that disagreement in another case. Liberty Mutual then had a takeover agreement with the parish and said it would finish the project. Liberty Mutual in turn sued, saying that it was owed indemnity from the defendants as it relates to payment and performance of the surety bonds.

Liberty Mutual was denied its motion for summary judgment as well as its claims against the couple in question. The court then filed a stay until the state court could take over. Liberty Mutual then filed a lift to stay or have a status conference. 

A status conference was held but the insurance company’s motion to lift the stay was ultimately denied. Liberty Mutual then filed another motion claiming the reason for the stay is not being fulfilled as the state court case is set for March 16, 2020.

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