The Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed the trial court's order that defense costs be paid for a period during which the insured rejected the defense even though no reservation of rights was issued. OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co. v. Celanese Corp., 2017 Mass. App. LEXIS 140 (Mass. App. Ct. Oct. 16, 2017).
Celanese was sued over many years for claims of bodily injury due to asbestos and chemicals allegedly contained in its products and facilities. For many years, Celanese had an agreement with its insurer, OneBeacon, for defense cost-sharing. In April 2009, Celanese terminated this agreement and demanded that OneBeacon defend the cases under the policies previously issued. OneBeacon agreed to defend without a reservation of rights. OneBeacon also agreed to waive any issues of coverage and to indemnify Celanese from any settlements of judgments up to ts full liability limits. However, OneBeacon also sought to assume full control of the defense of claims against Celanese.