Insurance Coverage; Professional Services Exclusion; Completed Operations; Duty To Defend:

North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 726 -


NCE was an engineering firm which built dams. It was hired by Lolonis to build a dam near its winery. The work and the studies for the work went on for a number of years (almost 20). Eventually, downstream owners complained that excessive sediment was occurring and that there were erosion problems. Ultimately, Lolonis filed a complaint and cross-complaints against NCE, State Farm’s insured. For more than two years, State Farm refused to defend, although it provided policies during almost the entire period that NCE was involved. The earlier policies did not contain a professional services exclusion; the later policy contained a products completed operations provision with a professional services exclusion. Ultimately, State Farm agreed to defend, but only prospectively. In a trial on the duty to defend, the trial court directed a verdict in favor of State Farm saying no duty to defend.

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Topics:  Auto Insurance, Breach of Duty, Brokers, Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Defects, Duty to Defend, Excess Policies, Fiduciary Liability, Homeowner's Insurance, Insurance Brokers, Professional Service Exclusion, Umbrella Policies

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Insurance Updates, Labor & Employment Updates, Personal Injury Updates, Worker’s Compensation Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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