On March 11, 2014, we reported on the First Circuit’s ruling in a contested arbitration between OneBeacon America Insurance Co. and certain of its reinsurers over reinsured asbestos claims. The reinsurers filed a declaratory relief action, seeking to preclude OneBeacon’s claims based on an adverse ruling that OneBeacon received in a previous arbitration against a different reinsurer. The First Circuit affirmed the order dismissing the action and compelling arbitration, holding that the preclusive effect of a prior arbitration award is an arbitrable issue and not an issue for the court to determine.
The arbitration has concluded and an award in favor of OneBeacon has been reached and confirmed by the court. The award found that the phrase “same causative agency” in the governing multiple line reinsurance treaty permitted OneBeacon to accumulate claims of multiple insureds and cede losses as a single occurrence, notwithstanding a contrary finding of the previous adverse arbitration award. The panel also determined the procedure by which OneBeacon must apply its self-insured retention across multiple treaty years. OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. National Casualty Co., Case No. 1:14-cv-12570 (USDC Aug. 21, 2014).