General Business Insurance Construction

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When Contract Forms Cause Unintended Consequences

Inclusion of unrevised Standard AIA contract forms in your construction agreements can cause serious unintended consequences. A case decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, Bd. of Comm’rs. Cty of Jefferson v. Teton Corp., 30...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

11th Circuit to decide whether construction defect notice under Florida repair statute is a “suit”

Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida addressed what constitutes a “suit” within the context of Florida’s right-to-repair procedure for construction defect disputes. In Altman...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Defects in the Construction of a “Known-Loss” Exclusion

A mason who performed work on a residential project was notified in 2006 that cracks had developed in his work. Several months later, the mason purchased a commercial general liability policy that expressly excluded coverage...more

Eastern District of Texas Rules that Insurer’s Delayed Acceptance of the Duty to Defend Constitutes a Breach of that Duty

In Yowell v. Seneca Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 WL 4575450, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98719 (E.D.Tex., Jul. 28, 2015), the Eastern District of Texas ruled that an insurer’s unexplained, 140-day delay in agreeing to defend its...more

Update on Labor Depreciation Class Action Litigation: Kansas Federal Court Rules for Insurer

As an update to my March 29, 2015 blog post on the status of class actions on the labor depreciation issue, a Kansas federal court recently granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer. In Graves v. American Family...more

Kansas Court Sanctions Depreciation of Labor to Determine Actual Cash Value

Two of our previous posts reported that Arkansas and Kentucky courts have now barred insurers from depreciating labor—as opposed to materials—when arriving at actual cash value (ACV). Last Wednesday in Graves v. American...more

For “At-Issue Waiver,” The Best Defense May Not Be An Affirmative Defense

As this blog has repeatedly documented, it can be hard for insurers to assert the attorney-client privilege in the context of bad faith litigation. One difficulty arises in states that enforce a presumption against the...more

Construction Case Law Update - July 2015 #2

CGL Policies; Declaratory Judgments; Appeal of a Partial Final Judgment – A commercial general liability insurer and its insured sought declaratory relief over the question of insurance coverage and the duty to defend...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Erosion in Texas—Because Endorsements Are Transformative

In Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Arch Specialty Ins Co., No. 14-20239 (5th Cir. April 21, 2015), a case that applied Texas law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that the word “expenses,” as used in a...more

Texas Legislature Reins in Public Adjuster Conduct

Obvious to anyone in the insurance industry, Texas courts are experiencing an explosion of first-party property insurance lawsuits arising from wind and hail related insurance claims. Dozens of lawsuits are filed every day in...more

Perspectives on Insurance Recovery

Welcome to the latest edition of Pillsbury’s Perspectives on Insurance Recovery. As this 2015 edition of Perspectives demonstrates, our team is working on the most challenging issues—from cyber-insurance and complex claims...more

Obtaining Title Insurance on Construction Loans: Avoiding Pitfalls Regarding Title Insurance Underwriting for Construction Loans

Avoiding Pitfalls in Construction Mortgages: Top 5 Tips for Title Insurance Underwriting - Construction mortgages pose significant risks for title insurers and require specific underwriting analysis. Avoid the...more

New Jersey Developer Wins on “Occurrence” and “Property Damage”; Appellate Division finds Subcontractors’ Faulty Construction...

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, has issued a very important decision for real estate developers and general contractors whose insurance companies have reserved rights or denied coverage for damage caused...more

Massachusetts Appeals Court Adopts Two-Prong Continuity and Profit Motive Test to Determine Whether Business Pursuits Exclusion...

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has provided some much needed guidance on the “business pursuits exclusion” in a recent coverage dispute between a homeowners’ insurer and a commercial liability insurer. In Preferred Mutual...more

Equities Favor Subrogating Insurer Over Subcontractor That Performed Defective Work

In Valley Crest Landscape v. Mission Pools (No. G049060, filed 6/26/15, ord. pub. 7/2/15), a California appeals court held that equities favor an insurer seeking equitable subrogation over a subcontractor that agreed to...more

Seventh Circuit Limits Construction Lender’s Use of Title Insurance Policy to Cover Construction Liens Created by Lender’s Cutoff...

In a recent decision written by Judge Sykes, affirming a decision from the Western District of Wisconsin, in an issue governed by Wisconsin law, the Seventh Circuit ruled that a title insurer has no duty to indemnify a...more

Conclusory Allegations Held Insufficient to Support Declaratory Relief on Right to Independent Counsel or Allocation of Defense...

Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (May 22, 2015) - In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California...more

In Overhead and Profit Class Actions, The Third Trade’s No Longer The Charm

When repairs to a damaged home reach a certain level of complexity, they call for supervision by a general contractor, who receives a percentage of the actual repair costs as “general contractor’s overhead and profit” or...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Construction Alert: Don't Overlook the Importance of Additional Insured Endorsements

Whether you are giving one to someone else or asking for one, you need to use additional insured endorsements (AIE) that give you as much protection as possible and that meet the promises you have made in your contracts. A...more

Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those...more

Changes to Florida's Construction Defect Notice Statute

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new bill that changes Florida's construction defect notice statute, effective October 1, 2015. Changes to the Florida statute include: (I) an amendment to section 558.001, revising...more

Looking Backward: West Virginia Retroactively Imposes Coverage for Faulty Workmanship

A notorious moving target in the field of coverage litigation is an insurer’s responsibility under a commercial general liability policy for the policyholder’s faulty workmanship. The key question is usually whether the...more

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