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Montana Supreme Court Revisits General Liability Coverage for Construction Defect Claims

In its recent decision in Emplrs Mut. Cas. Co. v. Fisher Builders, Inc., 2016 MT 91 (Mont. Apr. 16, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes an “occurrence” in the context of a defective...more

PHH Mortgage Attacks the CFPB: Will the Bureau Become a Commission?

On April 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments in PHH Mortgage’s appeal of a $109,000,000 disgorgement order by the CFPB. The CFPB found PHH had illegally referred consumers to mortgage insurers...more

Kentucky Court of Appeals Denies CGL Coverage For Damage To Property Other Than Insured’s Work

In Acuity v. Martin/Elias Props., LLC, 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 237 (Ky. Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Kentucky held that commercial general liability insurer Acuity did not owe coverage for a claim that...more

OCIP Liability Insurer Required to Indemnify Florida Contractor for $23M in Property Damage Arising Out of Defective Subcontractor...

Pavarini Construction Co. v. Ace American Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151247 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 29, 2015) - This action arose out of a construction project to build a 63-story luxury condominium tower located in...more

Texas Tornadoes: Why Risk Mitigation Matters

On Dec. 26, 2015, 12 confirmed tornadoes struck the North Texas area, killing 13 people.[1] Property damage resulting from the tornadoes is currently estimated at $1.2 billion. According to the National Oceanic and...more

Construction Case Law Update - January 11, 2016

CGL Policies, Supplemental Payment Provision, and Attorney’s Fees - A contractor’s commercial general liability insurer appealed a final judgment in favor of homeowners that damages awarded to them in a construction defect...more

Negligence – Premises Liability – Property Owner Not Liable For Painter’s Accident – No Evidence of Negligence by the Property...

Tomas Vebr v. Gary A. Culp et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 28, 2015) - Workers’ compensation insurance is required for issuance of a contractor’s license in California pursuant to...more

Oregon Adopts Covenants Not To Execute/Assignments

This past week, the Supreme Court of Oregon overturned 42 years of precedent, holding that Stubblefield v. St. Paul Fire & Marine, 267 Ore. 397, 517 P.2d 262 (1973) erred when it decided that a covenant not to execute given...more

Insurance Coverage – Homeowner’s Insurance – “Imminent Loss”

Arthur Grebow, et al. v. Mercury Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second District (October 21, 2015) - Homeowners’ policies are not intended to require that all maintenance costs incurred to prevent collapse...more

Vermont Supreme Court Collapse Case Underscores Danger of Insuring Against the “Risk” of a Peril

Three months ago in Equinox on the Battenkill Mgmt. Ass’n. v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2015 VT 98 (Vt., Aug. 7, 2015), Vermont’s highest court held that a policy insuring against the “risks of . . . collapse” affords...more

“Contractor?” I Do Not Think That Employers’ Liability Exclusion Means What You Think It Means

Over the summer, this blog reported on how the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania managed to parse an employer’s liability exclusion to find that it did not exclude claims by employees of additional insureds. As the leaves started...more

Property Subrogation Alert: Potential Property Subrogation Opportunities in South Carolina Related to the Recent Historic Rainfall...

In light of the recent historic rainfall and flooding in South Carolina, Nexsen Pruet’s property subrogation and recovery team would like to advise you of potential subrogation opportunities that may otherwise go overlooked....more

Title Insurance: When Does a Construction Lender “Create” or “Suffer” a Mechanics Lien?

BB Syndication Services, Inc. v. First American Title Ins. Co., 785 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2015) – A construction lender sued a title insurance company seeking defense and indemnification in connection with claims in a...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

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

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

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

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

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 5 & 12, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Lien Priority: claimant’s judgment lien related back to recording of lis pendens and therefore took priority over competing judgment lien obtained after lis pendens but before entry of claimant’s...more

Montana Supreme Court Affirms Rule Requiring Insurer to Demonstrate Prejudice Resulting from Insured’s Late Notice

On May 29, 2015, the Montana Supreme Court affirmed the application of the notice-prejudice rule in cases of third-party claims for damages. Atlantic Casualty Ins. Co. v. Greytak, 2015 MT 149, OP 14-0412 (Mt. 2015). The rule...more

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

In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California Court of Appeal held that a developer’s declaratory relief lawsuit seeking a declaration of the right to independent counsel was...more

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