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Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Limitation of Liability Clauses

Many industry form documents and custom construction contracts contain provisions shifting or limiting the respective parties’ risks. One of the more potentially significant risk-limiting provisions seen primarily in...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Allows Negligence Suit Against Builder Despite Lack of Privity of Contract Between the...

A Federal Court in Pennsylvania has handed down a ruling that may expand the pool of potential plaintiffs in construction litigation. See AMCO Insurance Co. v. Emery and Associates, 926 F. Supp. 2d 634 (W.D. Pa. 2013). In...more

The Construct - May 2014

In This Issue: - Green Law Corner - You Decide: Green Globes vs. LEED: The U.S. General Services Administration recently added Green Globes as an additional third-party green building certification system for...more

Illinois Court Holds Insured Cannot Deselect Insurer In Connection With Underlying Settlement

In its recent decision in AMCO Ins. Co. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 296 (May 5, 2014), the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, had occasion to consider whether an insurer selected by an insured’s...more

Alabama Supreme Court Clarifies Position on Construction Coverage Question: Damage to Contractor’s Work Resulting from Faulty...

In an important decision for policyholders in the construction business, the Supreme Court of Alabama recently clarified that Alabama law is in accord with the growing majority of jurisdictions finding coverage for property...more

Did You Unknowingly Sign Away Your Ability To Sue? Double Check Your Construction Agreement!

By statute, the time to bring a lawsuit against a contractor for hidden construction deficiencies can be as long as 10 years. That means that, say, a property owner could sue his or her architect or general contractor for...more

Builders Beware! You Cannot Hide Behind SB 800!

In Burch v Superior Court (Premier Homes et al.) 2014 DJDAR 1991 (decided February 19, 2014) plaintiff Burch, a Pacific Palisades homeowner, sued defendants Premier Homes, the developer, and Custom Home Builders, the general...more

The Construction Advantage

We hope you enjoy Bernstein Shur’s first edition of The Construction Advantage. This newsletter will provide you with insight into the current legal issues in construction, news and updates. We hope in this newsletter and...more

The Texas Supreme Court Issues a Liability-Coverage Decision Favorable to the Construction Industry

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court resolved a long-debated controversy as to the scope of a contractual liability insurance exclusion in Ewing Construction Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co. A contractual liability...more

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court’s Holding Excluding Construction Defect Claim From Coverage Under CGL Policy

In a victory for contractors, the Texas Supreme Court recently held that a contractor does not lose coverage under its commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy merely because it entered into a contract agreeing to perform...more

Texas Supreme Court Rejects Insurer Attempt to Expand Limited Insurance Exclusion for Liability Assumed by Contract, Holding that...

In a highly anticipated ruling earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court rejected Amerisure Insurance Company’s attempt to radically expand the scope of a common exclusion for liability assumed by contract found in many...more

Texas Supreme Court Limits Liability Exclusion in Ewing

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued a key ruling clarifying the scope of contractual liability exclusions in insurance policies. In Ewing Const. Co., Inc. v. Amerisure Ins. Co., 2014 WL 185035 (Tex. Jan. 17,...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules CGL Policy’s “Contractual Liability" Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Claims Arising From...

On January 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Texas rejected a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurer’s attempt to invoke the “contractual liability” exclusion to deny coverage under a standard CGL policy regarding a...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds “Contractual Liability” Exclusion Inapplicable

In a long and highly anticipated decision issued today, the Texas Supreme Court held that a standard “contractual liability” exclusion does not void coverage for claims alleging that a contractor failed to construct a project...more

Utah Court of Appeals Limits Third-Party Beneficiary Contract Claims Against Appraisers, but Recognizes Tort Based Third-Party...

In Lilley v. JPMorgan Chase, et al, 748 UT Adv. Rpt. 48, 213 Utah App. 285, Nov. 20, 2013, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed an order of the District Court dismissing the Plaintiffs’ breach of contract action against an...more

Homeowners Cannot Assert Claims Against Subcontractors For Breach Of Implied Warranty

Since 1979, Arizona courts have recognized an implied warranty of workmanship and habitability (“Implied Warranty”) regarding new home construction. Although a contractual relationship (“privity”) is generally required to...more

Door Opening to Allow Common Negligence Claims Against Construction Professionals

For several years, design and construction professionals have been awaiting word from the Washington Supreme Court regarding whether aggrieved parties are limited to remedies set forth in their written contracts or whether...more

Allegations in Third-Party Complaint May Trigger Duty to Defend

Although a personal injury complaint filed by a subcontractor’s employee alleged direct negligence only against the additional insured contractor, the vicarious liability coverage afforded the additional insured was...more

New York Court of Appeals: Vandalism Coverage under “Named Peril” Property Policy Can Apply Even When Malicious Act Is Not...

In a case with broad implications for property owners near construction sites (Georgitsi Realty, LLC v. Penn-Star Insurance Company, No. 156, October 17, 2013), the New York Court of Appeals has opened the door to broad...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Summary of Nevada Law on the Economic Loss Doctrine in the Context of Commercial Construction...

The Nevada Supreme Court has addressed the economic loss doctrine in the context of commercial construction disputes in a number of cases over the past several years. Nevada’s general rule, as detailed below, is that the...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Application of the Economic Loss Rule in Arizona Since Flagstaff Affordable Housing Ltd. v....

In a recent ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court clarified that the economic loss rule does not apply to non-contracting parties. See Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corporation, 667 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 36 (Ariz. 2013). This ruling both...more

Under Construction - September 2013: California’s Economic Loss Doctrine – Limits on Tort Recovery

In California, the economic loss rule addresses the distinction between suits in contract and tort. A contract claim can typically be pursued to recover all damages proximately caused by breach of contract, unless expressly...more

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