Lawsuit for Falling Backwards Off a Truck Injury

In Travelers Ins. Co. v. Employers' Liab. Assur. Corp., 367 F.2d 205 (4th Cir.1966), an employee of Stewart Petroleum, which operated tank trucks, was loading oil into a truck at a facility owned by Hess, when Stewart's employee was injured as a result of falling backwards off the truck when the wire cord connected to the manual lever snapped because of a defect. See id. at 206. After settling the employee's lawsuit, Hess and its insurer, Travelers, looked to Stewart Petroleum's insurer, Employer's, for reimbursement. See id. The Fourth Circuit, noting that the word "use" was specifically defined in the policy as including "loading and unloading thereof," found that use was not restricted to situations in which movement of the vehicle is involved. See id. at 207. The court found: Hess was intimately involved in the loading operation itself. It maintained the facility in contemplation of its regular use in the manner in which Stewart's employee used it in conjunction with the loading of its products in customers' vehicles. the operation of the lever was part of the use of the truck in loading. As this entire operation was with the permission of the named insured, the policy covers such use. Id. at 208.