In a 6-3 opinion, the Texas Supreme Court held that requests for admissions sent to an insurance carrier in one capacity cannot be used against it in different capacity. USF&G appeared in two capacities represented by two different law firms–as a defendant to the insured’s claim under the underinsured motorist policy and as subrogee to recover funds from the plaintiff. Plaintiff served requests for admission on the firm representing USF&G as subrogee, not as defendant. The Court stated:
Requests for admission are a tool, not a trapdoor. [Plaintiff’s] attorneys knew perfectly well that defendant USF&G was denying underinsured coverage. Accordingly, they are not entitled to use a response against it when they sent it to the law firm representing it in a different capacity.
The majority opinion in United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co. v. Goudeau can be found at this link. The dissent can be found at this link.