A Louisiana Court of Appeal held that the Direct Action Statute does not grant a right of action in favor of a tortfeasor against a co-tortfeasor’s liability insurer. Mabile v. The Dow Chem. Co., 2016-0576 (La. App. 1 Cir. 12/28/16); 2016 WL 7407390, reh'g denied sub nom. 2016-0576 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2/7/17); 2017 WL 519383.
Suit was filed against several defendants for an asbestos-related injury, during which one defendant filed a cross-claim against the plaintiff’s former employer and a third-party petition against the former employer’s insurers, alleging that the insurers issued policies that provided coverage. The insurers excepted to the third-party petition, arguing that there was no right of action to sue them directly because the claim was based on an agreement with the employer, and not on the defendant’s status as an injured tort victim. The trial court granted the insurers’ exception of no right of action.
The appellate court noted that Louisiana’s Direct Action Statute states that an injured person shall have a right of direct action against the tortfeasor's insurer. The appellate court held that a tortfeasor responsible for a tort victim’s injuries is not among the parties to whom the Direct Action Statute provides a remedy, and it therefore does not have a right of direct action against another’s insurer.