Legal Action Over Welspun Fire Heats Up

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 12:00 am  

Welspun Pipes in Little Rock. (Photo by Stephanie Dunn)

Another lawsuit has risen from the ashes of a nearly $30 million fire at Welspun Pipes Inc.’s Little Rock plant in 2012.

The latest one is by an insurance company trying to get out of paying for the defense of one of its customers, Entech Inc. of Conway.

For a quick recap: Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Wausau, Wis., was Welspun’s insurance carrier at the time of the blaze and paid $28.9 million to Welspun.

But Liberty then turned around and sued Entech and others defendants in September in Pulaski County Circuit Court in an attempt to recover the money it paid to Welspun. Liberty alleged the fire was caused, in part, by the defective design work by Entech and other contractors.

Entech denied the allegations in that lawsuit.

Now Entech’s insurance carrier, Assurance Co. of America, which is based in Illinois, has gone through its policy with Entech, and realized that no coverage exisits for the claims that Liberty alleged.

So it filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court and wants a judge to rule it that doesn’t have to defend Entech in the lawsuit against Liberty nor will Assurance be responsible for any settlements or judgment involving Entech and the Welspun case.

One of Entech’s attorneys, T. Scott Clevenger of Little Rock, was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

 

 

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