General Business Construction Insurance

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Connecticut Supreme Court Determines that Commercial General Liability Insurers Have Right to Obtain Declaratory Ruling as to...

Many construction professionals in Connecticut, and in particular those who do business with the State, are well aware of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Lombardo Bros. Mason Contractors, Inc., 307 Conn....more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

Fourth District Reverses Lower Court Ruling in Construction Defect Litigation

On January 22, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeals issued for publication its decision in McMillin Companies LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Company, 4th Dist. Div. 1, D063586. The case is significant in...more

Construction Case Law Update - February 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Insurance Policies; Construction Defects; Self Insured Retention Amount; Subrogation; “Made Whole Doctrine” – Under the “made whole doctrine,” an insured has no affirmative right to recover...more

The Pennsylvania Superior Court Continues to Muddle the Answer to the Question of When Faulty Workmanship is an “Occurrence” Under...

Pennsylvania courts continue to struggle with complex concepts underpinning when faulty workmanship can be an “occurrence” triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies. In Kvaerner Metals Division...more

Harmonizing Risk Transfer: Avoiding Pitfalls With Additional Insured Provisions

A contractual additional insured provision is an important tool in managing risks. Historically seen in construction contracts, additional insured provisions now appear in many other types of contracts, including those...more

Virginia Court Nixes Claim Chinese Drywall Damage to HVAC Systems is Covered as Equipment Breakdown

In Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward, 284 Va. 547, 736 S.E.2d 321 (2012), the Virginia Supreme Court held that loss occasioned by the sulfuric gas released by defective Chinese drywall was excluded under the primary coverage grant of a...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denies Appeal In Coverage Dispute; Superior Court Decision Recognizing a Duty to Defend Where Tort...

In a per curiam decision without a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh’s (“National”) appeal from a Superior Court decision holding that National had a...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 13

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of The Construction Advantage! In this issue, we bring you cases of expanded insurance coverage in New Hampshire and fraudulent concealment cases from California and Minnesota. We hope that...more

PA Supreme Court Grants Important Victory for Insurers Regarding CGL Coverage for Progressive Property Damage

In a comprehensive and sweeping opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed several key principles of commercial general liability (CGL) policy interpretation in Penn National v. St. John, decided on December 15, 2014....more

Like Hats and Belt Buckles, Indemnity Agreements in Texas Must be CONSPICUOUS

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Texas law allows an indemnity agreement to insulate a party from the consequences of its own, allegedly negligent conduct, but only if that feature...more

Recent Decisions Reinforce the Value of Quality over Quantity in a Reservation of Rights Letter

In two recent cases, Advantage Builders & Exteriors v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. No. WD 76880 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014) and EAN Services, LLC v. Brunson, No. 2-14-118 (Ill. Ct. App. September 8, 2014), the courts remind...more

Choosing Your Defense Counsel Before a Claim Ever Arises

If your company has ever been sued, then you know how important it is to have qualified and experienced counsel handling your case. Besides experience and qualifications, knowledge of your industry and your company can be...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment To CGL Insurer Based Upon Lack of “Occurrence”

On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State Farm”), seeking a declaration that it had no duty...more

Apartment Complexity: Appellate Court Sorts Out Multiple Coverage Claims for Construction of Uninhabitable Residence

In QBE Ins. Corp. v. Adjo Contracting Corp. (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t Oct. 29, 2014), an intermediate appellate court in New York confronted cross-appeals involving 15 different insurers embroiled in multiple lawsuits,...more

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

If You Build It, “The Claims” Will Likely Come: Controlling Anticipated Risks In Large Projects

Sophisticated parties in large projects know that it is not unusual for claims of all types to occur during the course of the project. Despite everyone’s best efforts, claims for property damage, material loss and personal...more

Fifth Circuit Addresses Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20737 (5th Cir. October 29, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit withdrew its prior ruling and held that the...more

More “Texas Justice” For Policyholder On Contractual Liability Exclusion

On October 29, the Fifth Circuit reversed itself for the second time this year in a case involving the interpretation of a contractual liability exclusion in a CGL policy. This recent decision by the Fifth Circuit in...more

Is that Covered? Insurance and Indemnity Clauses

Many contracts contain clauses requiring parties to carry insurance and to agree to indemnify one party or another in the event of a lawsuit. Such language is typical in lease agreements, distribution contracts, and...more

Construction Case Law Update - October 2014 #3

Insurance, Sinkhole litigation -- Neither “Concealment or Fraud” nor “Duties After Loss” provision in homeowner’s insurance policy required insured to provide insurer with expert’s sinkhole damage analysis solicited by...more

Regional Steel: the continuing effort to avoid the cost of correcting the insured’s work

Casualty insurers normally do not expect to pay the cost of their insureds simply doing a good job. Insurers typically view their contracts as assuming the risk of delineated consequences – damages – if the insured’s work...more

Missouri Court Imposes Bad Faith Liability Despite Judicial Finding Of No Coverage For Underlying Claim

In Advantage Building, the Western District of Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment against an insurer for extra-contractual liability for bad faith failure to settle a claim within the policy limits. Interestingly,...more

No CGL Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Under Pennsylvania Law

In State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. McDermott, 2014 WL 5285335 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2014), a federal court recently held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying construction defect...more

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