BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 12 awarded summary judgment to an insurance company named as a surety in a performance bond, finding that the insurer has no duty to indemnify a general contractor for almost $3 million in damages for a subcontractor’s allegedly faulty work because the contractor did not satisfy a condition precedent that required it to terminate the agreement with the subcontractor.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 22 granted in part a general contractor’s motion to dismiss cross-claims brought by the installer of a sprinkler system in a suit over water damages caused by a frozen sprinkler supply line, finding that the system installer could pursue a claim for contribution from the general contractor but not indemnification.
NEW YORK — A New York justice wrote in an order filed Feb. 16 that a general contractor accused by the subrogee insurer of the owner of a suite housing a dermatology practice and others of failing to install a heater that would have prevented a sprinkler head from freezing and subsequently bursting, resulting water damage, was entitled to summary judgment because the contractor sufficiently showed that it performed its work in accordance with plans prepared by the architect and designer.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Feb. 9 recommended denying a hotel operator’s motion to dismiss an insurer’s third-party lawsuit against it, finding that the insurer sufficiently states claims for breach of contract and conversion based on the hotel operator’s failure to pay a contractor an agreed upon $195,000 to resolve the contractor’s breach of contract suit over remediation work for water damage.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 reversed a trial court judge’s ruling striking a swivel hose adaptor maker’s request for trial de novo in a subrogation lawsuit brought by an insurance company to recover damages it paid to an insured, finding that the judge’s opinion about how the manufacturer acted during an arbitration hearing was inconsistent.
DALLAS — An insurer says in a Feb. 2 motion to dismiss filed in federal court in Texas that causes of action for violations of the Texas Insurance Code brought by Pulte Homes of Texas LP and Centex Homes should be dismissed because the allegations underlying the claims do not satisfy the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b).
GULFPORT, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi on Feb. 1 dismissed without prejudice an insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit against a contractor and a couple accusing the contractor of construction defects, finding that the court should abstain from presiding over the case after the homeowners amended a state court lawsuit to assert claims against the insurer.
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on Jan. 19 dismissed without prejudice a defendant developer in a declaratory judgment lawsuit brought by its insurer and allowed a homebuilder to file a third-party complaint against the developer’s insurance carriers.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A declaratory judgment lawsuit brought by two insurance companies seeking an order that they are not required to provide a defense to a contractor accused of defective work and breach of contract was dismissed by a federal judge in Kansas on Jan. 27 after he found that the dispute can be resolved in a garnishment petition filed by the defendant and counterclaimant contractor in Missouri state court.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 25 granted an insurance company’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after finding that it has no duty to indemnify a roofing company for a $492,023.40 judgment entered against the roofer in a homeowner’s action over the improper installation of a roof, holding that the claim was subject to a policy issued in 2012, when the roof began leaking after the work, and that the damages did not constitute an occurrence under the policy because the work was performed by a subcontractor.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 affirmed rulings awarding summary judgment to an insurer and denying a contractor’s motion to stay the lawsuit pending the appraisal of Hurricane Irma damage to an apartment complex, finding that the insurer was not required under a policy issued to a homeowners association to pay the contractor the estimated $4.9 million it would cost to replace the buildings because the contractor did not complete repairs and waived its request for an appraisal.
BURBANK. Calif. — A subrogee insurer for a construction contractor on Jan. 20 filed a lawsuit in California state court against a carpentry subcontractor, claiming that the subcontractor’s defective work at a mixed-used commercial/residential building and inability to complete the work it was hired to do at a mixed use commercial/residential project resulted in more than $3 million in damages from loss of use.
AUSTIN, Texas — A federal magistrate in Texas on Jan. 15 recommended denying without prejudice English underwriters’ motion for a default judgment against their insured in their lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying action and a separate arbitration proceeding seeking more than $1 million in damages from alleged defects in a gated community of 300 detached condominiums, finding that a default judgment would prejudice another insurer and could result in inconsistent judgments.
HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 19 awarded summary judgment to an insurer that denied a company’s claim for damages that allegedly resulted from Hurricane Harvey, finding that the insured failed to provide any evidence showing that defects in the construction and repair of the building’s roof were not the actual cause for water intrusion .
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge granted an insured subcontractor’s motion for a default judgment on Jan. 8, holding that the subcontractor was entitled to a declaratory judgment that its insurer has a duty to defend it in underlying litigation over alleged construction defects in a courthouse building.
NEW YORK — Coverage for water damage from an overflowing toilet was barred by a policy’s water exclusion endorsement, as well as the insured building owner’s failure to preserve the water-damaged sheetrock and flooring, a New York justice held Dec. 10 in granting summary judgment to the insurer.
ORLANDO, Fla. — In an order filed Dec. 12, a federal judge in Florida awarded summary judgment to KB Home Orlando LLC (KB Orlando), finding that it is an additional insured to a stucco subcontractor’s policy and that the insurance company must defend the general contractor in a lawsuit brought by a homeowners association over alleged defects in the installation of the stucco.
LONDON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge declined jurisdiction on Dec. 30 over an insurer’s action against its insured regarding coverage for $876,700 in roof repair costs sought in an underlying action, holding that a variety of factors weighed in favor of allowing a state court to resolve the insurance coverage questions.
DENVER — The owners of a building whose construction was delayed by water damage were not entitled to coverage for “soft costs” as additional named insureds under a policy issued to the general contractor, a Colorado federal judge held Dec. 31, granting partial summary judgment to the insurer.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 18 denied in part a motion for partial summary judgment and to strike an insurance company’s affirmative defenses filed by the assignee of an insured who was denied coverage for damages stemming from Hurricane Irma, finding that the insurer provided sufficient evidence to support its defense that defects in repairs to a building’s roof may have been present before the storm.