Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Royal Indem. Co. v. Apex Oil Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20003
Nos. Nos. 06-3454 et al., (8th Cir., 01/02/2008)

The Eighth Circuit affirmed a lower court's decision to abstain from an action seeking a declaration of the rights and obligations of various insurance companies and an oil company with respect to soil contamination surrounding the oil company's refinery in Hartford, Illinois. The lower court correctly determined that it could abstain under the Declaratory Judgment Act because the essence of this lawsuit was one for declaratory judgment. The fact that one of the insurers seeks monetary damages in addition to declaratory relief does not require a federal court automatically to apply the exceptional circumstances test. Nor did the lower court abuse its discretion in deciding to abstain. But rather than dismissing the case, the lower court should have ordered a stay of the proceedings.