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Insurer loses again in fight not to defend energy firm facing earthquake-related lawsuits

Insurer loses again in fight not to defend energy firm facing earthquake-related lawsuits

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Cushing quake

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake caused damage to buildings in Cushing on Nov. 6, 2016.

OKLAHOMA CITY — An insurance company policy’s boilerplate exclusionary language is the latest victim of saltwater injection-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma.

Mid-Continent Casualty Co. failed in its appeal of a ruling requiring it to defend OKC-based Crown Energy as part of a class-action lawsuit related to the earthquakes. Crown is a defendant in multiple cases that claim injection-induced quakes damaged Oklahomans’ properties.

David A. Walls, Crown Energy’s general counsel, described the appeals court ruling as “pretty strong stuff,” noting that it could shake general tenets many insurance companies might be using to sidestep the issue to their very core.

“Their failure to step up and do their job has ruined our company,” Walls said. “We are virtually bankrupt. We have told them that, and they don’t care, and that is where we are.”

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Tulsa World 2016 photo gallery: Earthquake damage in Cushing

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