Supreme Court of Mississippi Rules Subrogation Waiver Applied to Work and Non-Work Property

In answering a certified question from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Mississippi interpreted the plain meaning of a contract between Chickasaw School District and Sullivan Enterprises, Inc. to apply a subrogation waiver to both work and non-work property. The question pertained to a contract between the school district and the contractor for window restoration work on Houlka Attendance Center in May 2015. Two months later a fire broke out during construction and destroyed the school. Liberty Mutual, the district’s insurer, paid the school district $4.3 million, then filed a subrogation suit against Sullivan Enterprises, Fowlkes Plumbing, LLC, and Quality Heat & Air, Inc. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi allowed Liberty Mutual to proceed with its suit in relation to “non-work” property. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit certified the question to the Supreme Court of Mississippi.