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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

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Policies; “Injury-in-fact” vs. “Manifestation” as Trigger for Coverage; “Your Work” Exception – A CGL policy’s “Your Work” exclusion precludes coverage for defective installation when no damage...more

The Eleventh Circuit Holds that for Sinkhole Losses, Structural Damage ? Any Damage to a Structure

The land in Florida is prone to sinking and insurance companies must often scramble for solid footing on which to anchor the scope of coverage for sinkhole losses. In Hegel v. First Liberty Insurance Corporation (11th Cir....more

Anatomy of an Indemnity Provision - Construction Practice Newsletter

Indemnity clauses are one of the most negotiated (and litigated) provisions in a construction contract. - They’re also one of the least understood. - But we’re here to dissect it for you, so to speak. ...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015 #2

Sinkholes; “Structural Damage” – When undefined in a homeowner’s insurance policy, “structural damage” caused by a sinkhole is best defined as “damage that impairs the structural integrity of the building.” Homeowners argued...more

To Fund or Not to Fund – that is the Question

On Friday the 13th (3/13/2015), the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit decided that a title insurer did not have to provide coverage to its insured – the perfected, first lien lender – for priming mechanics’ liens that –...more

Florida Court Addresses Classification Limitation Endorsement

In its recent decision in Dumbacher v. Landmark Am. Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29106 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida had occasion to consider the application...more

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: No Coverage under Title Insurance for Mechanics’ Liens Arising after Construction Lender Stops...

On March 12, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit entered an opinion interpreting “the most litigated provision in the standard-form title-insurance policy purchased by real-estate lenders to...more

Summary of HUD’s LEAN 232 Program Email Blast: Office of Residential Care Facilities (ORCF), February 2015

In an effort to summarize the highlights of the LEAN Email Blasts that we receive, and rarely have time to review in a timely fashion, we at Pepper Hamilton are providing this quick synopsis of the latest LEAN update. Our aim...more

Is Laminate Flooring The New Drywall For Insurers?

Recent media reports alleging that certain laminate flooring manufactured in China and distributed in the U.S. contains unsafe levels of formaldehyde may have a familiar and frightening ring to them, particularly for insurers...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...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

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