MINNEAPOLIS — A commercial general liability insurer tells a Minnesota federal court in a Jan. 13 complaint that there is no coverage for damages incurred from an insured’s alleged delay and the abandonment of a unitized metal panel (UMP) system in favor of a different system (Liberty Insurance Corp. v. Kraus-Anderson Construction Co., et al., No. 20-00171, D. Minn.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An insurer alleges in a Jan. 10 complaint filed in an Alabama federal court that coverage does not exist for an additional insured for claims arising out of allegedly defective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installation work in a student housing complex because there is no “occurrence” and the work is otherwise excluded (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. 3D Air Services, LLC, et al., No. 20-43, N.D. Ala.).
SEATTLE — While an insurance policy’s one-year suit limitation clause precludes a condominium association from suing its insurer for breach of contract, a Washington appeals panel held Jan. 13 that the clause does not bar the association’s extracontractual claims under the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) and the Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA) (West Beach Condominium v. Commonwealth Insurance Company of America, No. 79676-3-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 58).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A subcontractor alleges in separate complaints filed Dec. 23 in a Florida federal court that two insurers breached their contracts by failing to defend and indemnify it as an additional insured against underlying allegations of defective work in an apartment building project (Orange & Blue Construction, Inc. v. HDI Global Specialty SE, No. 19-81707; Orange & Blue Construction, Inc. v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 19-81708, S.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on Jan. 10 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a business owners insurer based on the known loss doctrine because the insured knew that a construction project prompted by building code violations would cause a loss of business income before the inception of its insurance policy and the insured failed to disclose the construction project to the insurer (Dining Heritage, Inc. v. Leading Insurance Group Insurance Company, Ltd., et al., Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div., 2020 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 22).
DALLAS — In the third appeal in an insurance coverage dispute, a Texas appeals panel on Jan. 9 affirmed a ruling allocating a $2.4 million construction defects arbitration award between two commercial general liability insurers and denying the insureds’ request for attorney fees incurred in the first appeal (Great American Lloyds Insurance Co., et al. v. Vines-Herrin Custom LLC, et al., No. 05-18-00337-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 230).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 9 held that the “flawed design” of a home’s exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) constitutes “faulty design” and, therefore, there is no coverage for water damage discovered within the EIFS (Mark Mock, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 18-1407, 10th Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A waterpark owner petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court on Jan. 7 to review a ruling affirming that a roof collapse allegedly caused by defective construction occurred outside the policy period of a commercial general liability insurance policy because there was evidence that the collapse was caused by progressive structural damage over a long period of time (Thumper Pond Resort, LLC v. Badger Midwest Holdings, LLC, et al., No. n/a, Minn. Sup.).
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 27 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a claim alleging that an insured constructed a beetle-infested log home is barred from coverage by a commercial general liability insurance policy’s exclusion for certain damages arising out of the insured's work (Northland Casualty Co. v. Joseph S. Mulroy, et al., No. 19-35085, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38702).
MINNEAPOLIS — A Miller-Shugart settlement agreement between a marina and a contractor over defects claims is unreasonable, a Minnesota appeals panel held Dec. 16, because the “your work” exclusion in an insurance policy limits coverage and the agreement failed to allocate between covered and noncovered damages (King’s Cove Marina, LLC v. Lambert Commercial Construction LLC, et al., No. A19-0078, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. LEXIS 389).
SALT LAKE CITY — No coverage is owed to an insured for an underlying suit alleging that the insured’s installation of attic insulation caused mold to develop in attics of condominium buildings because the installation of the insulation does not constitute an occurrence, a Utah federal judge said Dec. 23 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Green Property Solutions LLC, et al., No. 19-00010, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220161).
FRESNO, Calif. — Insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify an underlying action over moisture damage to flooring in a student recreation center, a California federal judge ruled Dec. 27, because there is no alleged “property damage” as a contractor is seeking only reimbursement of back-charges to an insured’s work (Employers Mutual Casualty Co., et al. v. North American Specialty Flooring, Inc., et al., No. 19-00544, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221704).
RICHMOND, Texas — An insurer petitioned a Texas trial court on Nov. 26 for a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend underlying allegations arising out of construction defects in the remodeling of a home following a hurricane (United Specialty Insurance Co. v. Brickhouse Construction, LLC, No. 19-DCV-269030, Texas Dist., Fort Bend Co.).
CHICAGO — A commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend a general contractor against claims of $1.8 million in damages arising out allegedly faulty workmanship that led to a collapse, an Illinois appeals panel ruled Dec. 18, finding that “vague references” to damage to “personal property” are enough to allege “property damage” caused by an “occurrence” (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, subscribing to certificate No. RTS000275-4 v. Metropolitan Builders, Inc., et al., No. 1-19-0517, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2019 IL App [1st] 190517).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A settlement agreement is ambiguous as to whether a contractor released its own insurers, including an insolvent insurer, from providing coverage for underlying construction defect claims on a project for an university, a majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Dec. 17, vacating a lower court’s decision and remanding (Suffolk Construction Co. v. Reliance Insurance Co. [in liquidation], No. 40 MAP 2019, Pa. Sup., 2019 Pa. LEXIS 6972).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 4 reversed a federal judge in California’s ruling awarding summary judgment to an insurer that refused to defend Pulte Home Corp. in two construction defect lawsuits brought by homeowners, finding that the lawsuits did not provide enough information to show that the occurrence did not happen during the policy period and that the insurer was unable to show that the business risk exclusion was applicable (Pulte Home Corp. v. TIG Insurance Co., No. 18-55792, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35988).
BOSTON — A surety on Dec. 3 tells a Massachusetts federal court that it has no liability under a performance bond for $3.17 million in remediation costs for noncompliant subcontractor work because a contractor failed to comply with the bond’s “express and unambiguous conditions precedent” (Arch Insurance Co. v. The Graphic Builders LLC, No. 19-12445, D. Mass.).
DENVER — Finding no error in a lower court’s interpretation of an insurance policy’s definition of “suit,” the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed that an insurer failed to assert a breach of contract claim against an insured for its alleged failure to pay per-occurrence deductibles that would have offset an amount the insurer paid to settle underlying water damage claims filed by townhome owners and an association (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Greater Midwest Builders Ltd., et al., No. 18-3113, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36302).
SAN FRANCISCO — An additional insured contractor alleges in a Nov. 7 complaint filed in a California federal court that a builders risk insurer breached its policy, acted in bad faith and violated California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq., regarding its claim handling of water and mold-related damage in a construction project (Build Group, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. 19-07359, N.D. Calif.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A contractor sued a commercial general liability insurer on Nov. 21 in a Florida federal court, alleging that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to respond to claims for additional insured coverage for an underlying construction defects action (Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 19-02878, M.D. Fla.).