BOSTON — Citing a “damage to your work” exclusion, an insurer seeks declarations on May 9 from a Massachusetts federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify two construction defect cases (Union Insurance Co. v. Gengel C & S Builders Inc., et al., No. 19-11075, D. Mass.).
LOS ANGELES — Addressing whether claims meet the $75,000 amount-in-controversy requirement, a California federal judge on April 26 granted and denied in part motions to dismiss insurers’ claims for declaratory relief, equitable reimbursement and accounting relating to the cost of defending more than 52 construction defects cases (The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al. v. Pulte Group, Inc., et al., No. 18-08994, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74861).
TAMPA, Fla. — A commercial general liability insurer in an May 2 complaint seeks a declaratory judgment from a Florida federal court that it owes no coverage for an underlying construction defect action based upon the application of the “damage to property” and “your work” exclusions (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Adams Homes of Northwest Florida Inc., et al., No. 19-01069, M.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 1 remanded to a trial court the question of whether a contractors policy or an umbrella policy imposed a broader duty to defend against claims seeking to hold a homeowners insurer liable for its own acts arising out of a contractor’s alleged errors in remediation work (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 18-11652, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 13161).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Six commercial general liability insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify a builder with regard to alleged construction defects in a shopping center, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed May 1, finding that the contractual liability exclusion precludes coverage (J.A. Street & Associates Inc. v. Bitco General Insurance Corp., et al., No. 17-0079, W.Va. Sup., 2019 W. Va. LEXIS 205).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana appeals court majority on April 29 affirmed and amended in part a lower court’s rulings favorable to five excess insurers with respect to an underlying construction defect dispute, finding that an arbitration award and prior settlements were admissible as evidence for purposes of determining the insurers’ liability (M&R Drywall Inc. v. MAPP Construction LLC, et al., No. 2017 CA 0186 c/w No. 2017 CA 0187 c/w No. 2017 CA 0188, La. App., 1st Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 762).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on April 26 denied motions by three insurers to dismiss an insurance coverage action regarding a determination on the priority of coverage for water damage sustained as a result of alleged construction defects (Amerisure Insurance Co., et al., v. FCCI Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3042, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70460).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on April 22 granted an insurer’s motion to realign its insureds and additional insureds as plaintiffs in a homeowners association’s declaratory judgment action concerning coverage for an underlying construction defect case (Fenwick Commons Homeowners Association Inc. v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-00057, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67580).
HANNIBAL, Mo. — Because the ability to resolve alleged construction defects was within an insured’s control, a Missouri federal judge ruled April 17 that the failure to fix the defects was not an “occurrence” under an insurance policy (American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Mid-American Grain Distributors LLC, et al., No. 18-51, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66633).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — An insurance coverage dispute regarding an insurer’s duty to indemnify a $672,853.48 jury verdict in a construction defects case was stayed by a Florida federal judge on April 18, pending a determination by a state court regarding a motion for proceedings supplementary against the insurer and its insured (Southern-Owners Insurance Co. v. G.R. Construction Management Inc., et al., No. 18-829, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66435).
MOBILE, Ala. — A commercial general liability insurer in an April 16 complaint seeks a declaration from an Alabama federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a construction defects case because faulty work claims do not constitute an “occurrence” and exclusions apply to preclude coverage (Axis Insurance Co. v. LT Maintenance Inc., No. 19-00196, S.D. Ala.).
SEATTLE — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a construction defects case, a Washington federal judge ruled April 16, granting in part a default judgment in favor of the insurer (Developers Surety and Indemnity Co. v. Woodland Park Townhomes LLC, No. 18-1206, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65108).
SAN FRANCISCO — A residential developments and condominium exclusion relieves a commercial general liability insurer of any duty to defend to contractors in an underlying breach of contract dispute involving a condominium project, a California federal judge ruled April 15 (Colony Insurance Co. v. Mt. Hawley Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00519, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64407).
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 12 affirmed a lower federal court’s $1,020,000 judgment in favor of a general contractor’s surety for the full amount of a subcontractor’s surety performance bond in a dispute over costs arising from the subcontractor’s default in completing a federal government construction project (United States of America for the use of Wesco Distribution, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 18-1455, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10919).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 issued amended summary orders in two separate cases filed by homeowners who seek coverage for deteriorating and cracking basement walls in Connecticut homes, reiterating that the policies’ collapse provision does not provide coverage for the defective foundation walls because there was no sudden and accidental collapse as required by the policies (Glenn R. Carlson, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-3501, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10948; Alan D. Lees, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 18-007, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10949).
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two subcontractor insurers owed a duty to defend a general contractor as an additional insured and as primary, noncontributory insurers in an underlying construction defects case, a North Carolina federal judge ruled April 11, granting summary judgment to the general contractor’s insurers (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Weaver Cooke Construction LLC, et al., No. 15-00169, E.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62208).
ATLANTA — Finding that the “your work” exclusion does not apply to property damage caused during ongoing operations, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11 vacated and remanded a ruling that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a construction defects case based on that exclusion (Southern-Owners Insurance Co. v. MAC Contractors of Florida LLC, et al., No. 18-13040, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10689).
HOUSTON — An insurer sued another insurer on April 10 in a Texas federal court, seeking a declaration of defense obligations for a mutual insured in underlying construction defects cases (Navigators Specialty Insurance Co. v. First Mercury Insurance Co., No. 19-1304, S.D. Texas).
SEATTLE — A trial judge erred in concluding that the only reasonable interpretation of “decay” under an insurance policy is one that indicates some kind of decomposition of the material, a Washington appeals panel held April 8, reversing the entry of summary judgment to an insurer in a coverage dispute following a partial collapse of an insured’s building (Feenix Parkside LLC v. Berkley North Pacific, et al., No. 77303-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 823).
BOSTON — Fact issues remain on a subrogated insurer’s negligence and breach of warranty claims based on an alleged manufacturing defect in a heating system, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled April 4, denying summary judgment on these claims (Arbella Mutual Insurance Co. v. Field Controls LLC, et al., No. 16-10656, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58319).