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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Time Warner Entertainment Co., alleges that it was hired to construct a fiber-optic communications loop in and around Plano. It subcontracted a part of that work to a company called Signal Images Telecommunications Inc., which in turn subcontracted much of its work to others. Evidence showed that Signal performed its work from April 19, 2001, through February 2002. During that time period, West American Insurance Co. insured Signal under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, and Ohio Casualty Insurance Company insured it under a commercial umbrella policy. West American and Ohio Casualty (the insurers) made Time Warner an additional insured on those policies. Time Warner alleges that Signal and its subcontractors negligently performed their work, causing damage both to the work itself and to surrounding property. Specifically, Time Warner alleges that Signal’s negligence and negligent supervision of its subcontractors caused some of the fiber-optic cables to be installed outside of the proper easements and also caused some of the cable to be buried at a depth shallower than permitted by the contract. Time Warner further alleges that it spent over $1.5 million to repair and correct the damage caused by Signal. It contends that it had to spend those sums to avoid liability to the owner of the project for breach of contract and to avoid liability in trespass to property owners around the easement. Signal sued Time Warner for nonpayment, and Time Warner counterclaimed against Signal. Time Warner then sued the insurers for declaratory judgment and attorneys’ fees. In its original petition, Time Warner alleged that a company called Time Warner Cable Construction Division (TWCCD) contracted with Signal for the construction work and that TWCCD spent the $1.5 million to repair and correct Signal’s work. Time Warner asked for a declaration that “the claims made by TWCCD for its property damage caused by Signal and its subcontractors are covered occurrences mandating payment by the Insurers.” The insurers moved for summary judgment on the entire case. Time Warner filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a declaration of coverage and damages for the cost of removing cable and replacing damaged cable. Each side responded to the other’s motion. Seven days before the hearing on both motions, Time Warner amended its petition to delete all references to TWCCD and to allege that Time Warner itself had spent over $1.5 million to repair and correct Signal’s work. Time Warner also added a claim for breach of contract. The trial court denied the insurers’ motion and granted Time Warner’s motion “on the issue of Defendants’ duty to indemnify.” Time Warner then filed a motion for final summary judgment in which it quantified its damages and attorneys’ fees. The trial court granted Time Warner’s motion and signed a final judgment that awarded Time Warner damages in the amount of $1,361,024.42, plus attorneys’ fees and interest. The insurers appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. In their first issue, the insurers contended that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment for Time Warner. The insurers argued that Time Warner lacked standing to sue them for policy proceeds via their coverage of the named insured, Signal, and that Time Warner adduced no evidence of a claim against it to trigger its own coverage as an additional insured. The court agreed with the insurers. Time Warner, the court stated, did not establish a right to policy proceeds via its claim against Signal, the named insured. Texas is not a direct-action state, the court stated. In other words, the court stated, “[a] tort claimant has no direct cause of action against the tortfeasor’s liability insurer until the insured-tortfeasor is adjudged liable to the tort claimant.” Thus, the insurers properly invoked lack of standing as a ground for denial of Time Warner’s motion for summary judgment to the extent that Time Warner relied on the insurers’ coverage of Signal as a basis for recovery. Next, the court found that Time Warner did not establish a right to policy proceeds based on its status as an additional insured. Time Warner relied on its status as an additional insured on the insurers’ policies to defend its summary judgment. But after scrutinizing the contractual obligations that the insurers owed to Time Warner as an additional insured, the court found that Time Warner failed to prove its entitlement to summary judgment. Time Warner, the court stated, simply failed to prove facts showing that insurers owed it any duties as an additional insured. Because Time Warner had to prove at least one of these facts as an essential element of its claims against the insurers for policy proceeds, the court found that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment, both in declaring that the insurers owed Time Warner a duty to indemnify and in awarding money damages to Time Warner. Finally, the court rejected the insurers’ request for the court to render a take-nothing judgment in the insurers’ favor based on their motion for summary judgment. In that motion, the insurers contended that Time Warner’s underlying claims against Signal were not covered by the policies as a matter of law. But the court found that it lacked jurisdiction to render such a judgment. OPINION:Mazzant, J.; Lang, Lang-Miers and Mazzant, JJ.

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