ALBUQUERQUE, N.M — A commercial general liability insurer has standing to assert a declaratory judgment claim against a condominium association in a coverage dispute over an underlying construction defects action, a New Mexico federal judge ruled July 16 (United Fire and Casualty Co. v. Caskey Drywall NM LLC, et al., No. 17-1108, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117982).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments on June 12 in a dispute between a commercial general liability insurer, a contractor and a university over whether coverage exists for damages sustained in a construction project as a result of allegedly defective work caused by subcontractors (Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 2017-0514, Ohio Sup.).
SEATTLE — Exercising inherent authority, a Washington federal judge on July 13 paused T-Mobile Northeast LLC’s lawsuit seeking coverage for alleged damage caused by a cell phone tower to allow two related lawsuits to proceed (T-Mobile Northeast LLC v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 17-1289, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117694).
ROCKVILLE, Conn. — A Connecticut state judge on June 28 determined that only one of five insurers may have to provide coverage to insureds for the deterioration of the insureds’ basement walls as a result of the oxidization of the concrete used to construct the basement’s walls (Richard N. Dino, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., No. CV166010428S, Conn. Super., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1262).
SEATTLE — In a water damage and mold coverage suit concerning an insurer’s denial of investigation costs, a Washington federal judge on July 12 ordered an in camera review of documents provided by the insurer to determine whether attorney-client privilege applies (Market Place North Condominium Association v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., No. 17-625, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116381).
HOUSTON — Under the eight-corners rule, a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend a monastery’s professional negligence claim against an insured contractor, a Texas federal judge ruled July 10, granting partial summary judgment to the contractor and the monastery (Everest National Insurance Co. v. Gessner Engineering LLC, et al., No. 17-2981, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113849).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse a district court’s ruling in favor of an excess insurer in a Chinese drywall coverage dispute because the district court failed to apply to correct standard of law in finding that the excess insurer has no duty to indemnify, a contractor argues in a July 9 brief (American Home Assurance Co. v. Gryphon Construction LLC et al., No. 18-12031, 11th Cir.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on July 3 denied a commercial general liability insurer’s motions for default judgment against a subcontractor and condominium association in a coverage dispute regarding an underlying construction defects case (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Environmental House Wrap Inc., et al., No. 17-817, M.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO — A commercial general liability insurer breached its duty to defend a negligent construction work case, an Illinois appeals panel held June 29, finding that the insurer was estopped from denying liability for a default judgment (Country Mutual Insurance Co. v. Badger Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1-17-1774, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1118).
NEW YORK — A construction contractor exception to a professional liability exclusion does not apply because an insured was not contracted to perform any construction work, a New York federal judge ruled June 27, finding that an insurer had no duty to defend a professional negligence claim (Liberty Insurance Corp. v. WSP USA Inc., No. 17-4398, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107896).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 25 that only three deductibles and not 636 deductibles applied to an insured for claims arising out of three construction defects lawsuits (ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Company, RRG v. Yarbrough Plastering Inc., et al., Nos. 16-16952 & 16-17141, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 17226).
AUSTIN, Texas — In a dispute over a performance bond, a Texas federal magistrate judge on June 26 recommended that an insurer’s motion to dismiss fraud and breach of contract claims be denied (Hunt Construction Group Inc. v. Cobb Mechanical Contractors Inc., et al., No. 17-215, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106080).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a general contractor in an underlying construction defects case, a Florida federal judge ruled June 21, finding that the “damage to your work” exclusion precludes coverage (Southern-Owners Insurance Co. v. MAC Contractors of Florida LLC, et al., No. 18-21, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103659).
SEATTLE — A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend insureds in a construction defects lawsuit, a Washington federal judge ruled June 21, finding that the “damage to your work” exclusion does not apply (The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Milionis Construction Inc., et al., No. 17-00341, E.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104182).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — An insurer’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed by insureds seeking coverage for their cracking foundation walls caused by a chemical reaction in the concrete must be denied because a possibility for coverage exists as the policy at issue provides coverage for collapse caused by hidden decay and defective construction materials, a Connecticut federal judge said June 20 (Mark C. Maki, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-1219, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102708).
BOISE, Idaho — A faulty workmanship exclusion does not preclude coverage for an insured’s repair costs, an Idaho federal magistrate judge ruled June 18, granting summary judgment to an insured on its breach of contract claim and awarding it $177,431.99 (Engineered Structures Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 16-00516, D. Idaho, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102822).
LOS ANGELES — In a dispute between two insurers over the duty to indemnify a default judgment in a construction defects case against an insured, one insurer argues to a California appeals court in a May 25 brief that the other cannot prevail against it in a direct action because the default judgment is void and not covered (The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. B283684, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Native Alaskan village and its council say in a June 18 federal court lawsuit that a construction company owes the village $450,000 for shoddy work done and then left unrepaired on the village’s hydroelectric plant (Native Village of Chignik Lagoon v. Orion Marine Contractors, Inc., et al., No. 3:18-cv-00140, D. Alaska).
MINNEAPOLIS — Costs to repair and replace an insured’s insulating glass units (IGUs) are precluded by the “your product” exclusion, a Minnesota federal judge ruled June 18, granting and denying in part summary judgment to an insurer (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Viracon Inc., No. 16-482, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101449).
LOS ANGELES — Four insurers filed an equitable contribution complaint on June 13 in a California federal court against another insurer for coverage of seven underlying construction defects cases (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-05232, C.D. Calif.).