Very important decision. Our prior commentary on this case is here.
Here are the materials:
Amerind v. Malaterre CA8 Opinion
Amerind Opening Brief
Malaterre Letter Brief re Immunity
Amerind Brief re Immunity
It seems that to the extent Amerind is in fact “self-insuring” it is indeed acting more as a government than a business and that such activity may be cloaked in the the charter Tribes’ immunity. However, it also seems that to the extent that Amerind is not self-insuring, it is indeed acting more as a business than a government and may not carry the charter Tribes’ immunity beyond the governing territories of those Tribes. Is a company not chartered by Turtle Mountain but doing business in Turtle Mountain really “self-insuring”? Note to Turtle Mountaineers: if you wish for these types of catastrophes to be covered by insurance, your tribe/housing authority must establish its own section 477 self-insurance entity, as each tribe should, the likely original intent of the law.
Amerind’s policies require Amerind to pay all judgments rendered against its policyholders. For over 25 years, Amerind has consistently honored this commitment.
The United States Housing and Urban Development has also approved and recognized Amerind as the only authorized insurance entity for Indian country.
The Eighth Circuit’s decision applies in a very narrow set of circumstances—where suit is brought directly against Amerind rather than the policyholder.
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