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Phelps Secures Arbitration for Foreign and Domestic Insurers in Texas County Hurricane Claims

September 18, 2020

Phelps successfully defended various foreign and domestic insurers, including Lloyd’s underwriters, from a Texas county’s claim that state law excused it from its agreement to arbitrate disputes against the insurers.

Nueces County filed suit against Underwriters, Indian Harbor Insurance Co., QBE Specialty Insurance Co. and Steadfast Insurance Co. over property damage claims related to Hurricane Harvey. The county argued that Texas law bars the enforcement of the arbitration clause and pursuant to the McCarran-Ferguson Act, the New York Convention forcing U.S. courts to require arbitration is preempted under that state law.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sided with Phelps, rejecting the county’s argument that the state law preempted the federal law and compelling arbitration.

The Phelps team included Paige Jones, Christopher Langston, Ashley Parker and Chad Schreiber.


Phelps is a full-service law firm of 300 attorneys. We blend valuable traditions and progressive ideas to foster a culture of collaboration among our lawyers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and London. Our six core practice groups — admiralty, business, health care, insurance, labor and employment, and litigation — work together to offer clients a progressive, diverse practice and partnership that handles a broad range of sophisticated business needs regionally, nationally, and internationally.