Construction Defects

News & Analysis as of

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

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

5th Circuit Holds No Duty to Indemnify Based on Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12158 (5th Cir. June 27, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had occasion to consider whether the Contractual...more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

When Can a CGL Policy Do a Disappearing Act?

In Evanston Insurance Company v North American Capacity Company, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 92682, Evanston Insurance Company sued in U.S. District Court to seek contribution from North American Capacity Insurance Company where both...more

Think Twice About Heading to Court with a Construction Claim

Always take a two step approach to every construction claim. The first step is do you have some likelihood of winning. The second is do you have a likelihood of collecting. Regardless do your homework and grab the...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

News for Contractors and Construction Lenders in Arizona and Nevada – The Contractors' Lien May Trump the Bank's

In addition to an arid climate and plenty of sunshine, Arizona and Nevada have something more to offer contractors: a potentially advantageous position over lenders when a project goes bad. When a project derails and...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...more

When Is a Construction Defect a Mere Business Risk and Not Insurable?

In an unpublished appellate decision from the state of Washington, on May 5, 2014, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a CGL insurer, Western National Assurance, relieving it of any...more

Privilege Issues Are Important in Homeowner Association Construction Defect Litigation

Attorneys in Homeowners Association (“HOA”) construction defect cases must meet with the homeowners to provide litigation updates and it can sometimes be difficult to preserve the attorney-client privilege for the...more

Policyholders Must Be Vigilant for Construction Defect Exclusions, Including For Impaired Property to Combat Insurance Companies’...

Continuing the most recent trend in coverage litigation, insurance companies are increasingly engaging “Big Law” firms to develop legal arguments for narrower interpretation of their policies when troublesome claims threaten...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - June 2014

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...more

A perspective on the continuing saga of construction defects law

Ever since 2003, when comprehensive legislation was passed to address abuses in the pursuit by the plaintiff’s bar of windfalls from massively overstated litigation claims regarding alleged construction defects in the...more

More Legal Developments for the Construction Industry in the Southeast

Alabama - The Alabama Supreme Court reversed itself and concluded that faulty workmanship can constitute an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability insurance policy which triggers coverage for the insured. In a...more

New York and New Jersey Hold Fast to No “Occurrence” for Faulty Workmanship Claims

During the past year, five state supreme courts (Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, North Dakota and West Virginia) have found that faulty workmanship by a construction contractor or subcontractor can be a covered “occurrence.”...more

Construction Defect Disputes and the Abandoned Policyholder: Getting the Carrier to the Table

There is much that can go wrong in any large construction project: improper installations, defective products, errors and omissions made by designers, unexpected site conditions—the list is long. Insurance coverage or a...more

Is Defective Construction an “Occurrence”? More States Are Answering Yes

Last year, we examined the different approaches states have adopted to resolve whether defective construction by itself is an “occurrence” within the meaning of liability insurance policies. See Is Defective Construction...more

Feds Report On Chinese Drywall Brings Both Vindication And Deep Frustration To Florida Homeowners

Feds Report On Chinese Drywall Brings Both Vindication And Deep Frustration To Florida Homeowners. A report from the CDC confirms what thousands of Floridans suffering financial distress and medical problems have known for...more

General Contractor May Be Liable for Subcontractor’s Failure to Assign Work as Required by Project Labor Agreement

In Sheet Metal Workers Int’l Ass’n Local Union No. 27 v. E.P. Donnelly, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the court supervising federal trial courts in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey)...more

Why Your Condominium Corporation May Be Liable For Builder-Developer’s Actions

Most condominium boards assume that their condominium would be constructed properly and meet the minimum standards set out in Ontario’s Building Code. Unfortunately, this is not always the case....more

Condominium Construction Defects Legislation Introduced

Proposed legislation to reduce the cost of construction defect claims and encourage condominium construction has been introduced in the Colorado legislature. The long-awaited bill, Senate Bill 14-220, sponsored by Sen. Jessie...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

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