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Mealey's Construction Defects Insurance

  • September 20, 2018

    Insurer Denied Attorney Fees In Construction Defect Summary Judgment Win

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 18 denied reconsideration of his judgment in a construction defect insurance case and denied a motion by the winner for $302,214.50 in attorney fees (Assurance Co. of America, et al. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., No. 15-460, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159454).

  • September 19, 2018

    Judge: Insureds’ Losses Fall Within Definition Of ‘Caving In’ Under Policy

    HARTFORD, Conn. — In a coverage dispute over damages to insureds’ basement walls from cracking, a Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 18 denied summary judgment to a homeowners insurer on a breach of contract claim because the insureds’ damages fall within their reasonably proposed definition of “caving in” under the policy (Michael M. Sirois, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1172, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158508).

  • September 19, 2018

    Judge Dismisses Insureds’ Bad Faith Claim, Allows Breach Of Contract To Remain

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 17 dismissed claims for bad faith and declaratory judgment against an insurer regarding its refusal to pay for damages to basement walls; however, the insureds’ breach of contract claim survived (James T. Ainsworth, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-01139, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157886).

  • September 14, 2018

    Coverage Barred For Water Damage; Loss Was Not Sudden And Accidental

    DENVER — No coverage is owed for water damage discovered within an exterior insulation finishing system because the damage was not sudden and accidental as required for coverage to exist under the policy, a Colorado federal magistrate judge said Sept. 13 (Mark Mock, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-2592, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156256).

  • September 14, 2018

    Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Faulty Work Claims

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An insurer had no duty to provide a defense for a mutual insured in a construction defects case, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 11, finding that claims for faulty workmanship do not constitute a covered “occurrence” (Union Insurance Co. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 17-2674, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154359).

  • September 12, 2018

    Judge: Water Exclusion Bars Coverage For Insureds’ Damages From Wall Collapse

    SEATTLE — Coverage for damages caused by the collapse of a home’s retaining wall are precluded under a homeowners insurance policy’s water exclusion, a Washington federal judge ruled Sept. 7; however, the judge declined to grant summary judgment to the insurer on claims for bad faith and violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA) (Stephen Jones, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 17-1058, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153102).

  • September 11, 2018

    Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Liquidated Damages, Panel Finds

    DETROIT — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify liquidated damages or damages arising from a professional negligence claim, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 6, upholding summary disposition to the insurer (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Jenkins Construction Inc., et al., No. 337968, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 3109).

  • September 11, 2018

    Insurer Has Duty To Defend Insured In Underlying Mold, Water Damages Suit

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal magistrate judge on Sept. 7 recommended denying an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer has a duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit seeking damages as a result of mold and water damages caused by the insured’s negligent installation of windows because the damages occurred during the policy periods at issue (National Builders Insurance Co. v. RQ Building Products Inc. et al., No. 17-61474, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153900).

  • September 11, 2018

    11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Motion For Relief In Insurance Coverage Dispute

    ATLANTA — Having previously held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify claims that an insufficient inspection failed to discover defective conditions prior to a home sale, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 6 affirmed the denial of homeowners’ motion for relief from final judgment in their coverage dispute with the insurer (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ralph Gage Contracting Inc., et al., No. 18-10401, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25309).

  • September 7, 2018

    Insurer Did Not Breach Its Contract, Act In Bad Faith, Judge Concludes

    HARTFORD, Conn. — In a dispute over insureds’ damages from cracking in their basement walls from the use of defective concrete, a Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 5 granted summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Kenneth T. Courteau, et al. v. Teachers Insurance Co., No. 16-00580, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150784).

  • September 7, 2018

    Subrogated Insurer’s Negligence Claim Fails, Federal Judge Rules

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A subrogated insurer failed to prove negligence because it did not disclose any experts to prove duty, breach and causation, a Connecticut federal judge ruled Sept. 4, granting summary judgment to a contractor (Great Northern Insurance Co. v. 5K Development LLC v. DiFulvio Construction LLC, No. 16-01359, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150298).

  • September 5, 2018

    Insurance Policies Do Not Cover Defective Work Claims, Federal Judge Says

    BOSTON — Insurance policies do not provide defense and indemnity coverage for third-party claims for defective workmanship and dishonest acts, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Sept. 4, granting summary judgment to an insurer (689 Charles River v. American Zurich Insurance Co., No. 18-10118, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149798).

  • August 31, 2018

    Federal Judge Dismisses Hotel Franchisee’s Suit Against Insurers, Broker

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 17 issued a take-nothing judgment against insurers and an independent insurance broker in a construction defects coverage dispute after issuing three rulings that a hotel franchisee failed to sufficiently allege that the broker is liable for any conduct established in any section of the Texas Insurance Code and failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the insurers (Spih Tyler, LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1292, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139605).

  • August 31, 2018

    Panel Reverses Ruling On Extracontractual Damages In Defects Insurance Case

    NEW ORLEANS — In light of a recent Texas high court decision, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 29 reversed a lower court’s denial of a contractor’s claim for extracontractual damages but affirmed a ruling that a subcontractor’s insurer had a duty to defend the contractor as an additional insured in a construction defects lawsuit (Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc. v. Oklahoma Surety Co., No. 16-20195, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24568).

  • August 30, 2018

    Judge: Breach Of Contract Exclusion Does Not Relieve Insurer Of Duty To Defend

    SAN ANTONIO — An insurer has a duty to defend a contractor against allegations arising from cracking in a swimming pool, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 15, finding that a breach of contract exclusion does not apply (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Slay Engineering/Texas Multi-Chem/Huser Construction, No. 18-00252, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139353).

  • August 30, 2018

    ‘Damage To Your Work’ Exclusion Bars Coverage For Insured’s Stucco Work

    SAN FRANCISCO — A “damage to your work” exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for an insured’s stucco work itself but not the damage to surface paint, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 21 (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Kinsale Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00071, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142073).

  • August 22, 2018

    Louisiana Panel Holds Contractor’s Request For Delayed Damages Was Untimely

    BATON ROUGE, La.— After finding that a contractor’s claim for delayed damages against a construction company and insurer was untimely under the terms of a contract for the construction of an elementary school, a Louisiana appeals court on Aug. 20 affirmed a trial court’s decision dismissing its claim (St. Tammany Parish School Board v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 2017-1254, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 231).

  • August 21, 2018

    Excess Insurer Claims No Coverage Owed To Insured For Formaldehyde Flooring Claims

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An excess insurer claims in a complaint filed in Virginia federal court on Aug. 15 that no coverage is owed to its insured, Lumber Liquidators Inc., for underlying lawsuits alleging injuries as a result of toxic levels of formaldehyde in the insured’s laminate flooring (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc. et al., No. 18-2820, E.D. Va.).

  • August 15, 2018

    Judge Denies Insurer Relief On Contribution Of Defense Costs Order

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 12 denied an insurer’s request for relief from orders finding that the insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify 16 construction defect cases and must pay $488,233 in contribution to defending insurers (Assurance Company of America, et al. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 13-2191, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136463).

  • August 15, 2018

    Judge Awards $361,923.25 To Insured For Insurer’s Breach Of Duty To Defend

    MINNEAPOLIS — An architecture firm is entitled to $361,923.25, plus prejudgment interest of $57,671.16, from its insurer for the insurer’s breach of its duty to defend the architecture firm from a lawsuit arising from construction defects that resulted from a subcontractor’s negligence, a Minnesota federal judge held Aug. 13 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Miller Architects & Builders Inc., No. 17-400, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136237).