In Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Cellar Advisors, LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. Lexis 10655 (E.D. Mo.), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri considered the scope of a waiver of subrogation clause in two wine storage agreements. The court held that the subrogation waivers were limited in scope and, potentially, did not apply to the damages alleged in the pleadings. This case establishes that, in Missouri, waivers of subrogation are narrowly construed and cannot be enforced beyond the scope of the specific context in which they appear.
In 2005, Krista and Reid Buerger (the Buergers) contracted Marc Lazar (Lazar) to assist with purchasing, transporting and storing their wine. In 2006, the Buergers entered into a contract with Lazar’s company, Domaine StL, for the storage of their wine in St. Louis. In 2012, the Buergers contracted with Lazar’s other company, Domaine NY, for storage of their wine in New Jersey. The 2006 and 2012 contracts included subrogation waivers. Pursuant to the contracts, Lazar and the Domaine companies (collectively, Defendants) would buy wine for the Buergers by either using the Buergers’ credit card or invoicing them after a purchase.