CHICAGO — An insurer on Feb. 11 sued two subcontractor insurers in an Illinois federal court for equitable subrogation and equitable contribution regarding their duty to defend and indemnify a general contractor in a construction defect case involving a Michigan mall (Old Republic General Insurance Corp. v. Amerisure Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-992, N.D. Ill.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — An appellant recently asked a California appeals court to reverse a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a general liability insurer in his direct action lawsuit asserting that the insurer wrongfully denied coverage for property damage caused by a retaining wall that was constructed by the insured, arguing that, at minimum, there are triable issues of material fact regarding whether his losses are covered under the policies (Thomas Guastello v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. G057714, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend an underlying construction defects case because there are no allegations of damage that extend beyond faulty workmanship, a Florida federal judge ruled Jan. 29 (Southern-Owners Insurance Co. v. MAC Contractors of Florida LLC, et al., No. 18-21, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14611).
NATCHEZ, Miss. — A Mississippi federal judge on Jan. 30 determined than an insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on the issue of its duty to defend an insured for an underlying lawsuit arising out of the collapse of an insured building because there was sufficient extrinsic evidence available to the insurer that provided the insurer with notice that it may have a duty to defend the underlying lawsuit (Hudson Specialty Insurance Co. v. Talex Enterprises LLC, et al., S.D. Miss., 17-137, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15412).
ST. LOUIS — An insurer has a duty to defend alleged damages from a luxury apartment complex’s leaky roof because the claims fall within the policy's scope and there are no applicable exclusions, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed Jan. 30 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Miller Architects & Builders, Inc., No. 18-2970, 8th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 2972).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Jan. 30 denied a motion to alter a judgment dismissing a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed against a homeowners insurer because recent developments in Connecticut law regarding coverage under collapse provisions for the deterioration of the foundation walls as a result of the use of defective concrete do not support a finding that coverage is owed to the insureds (Marianne Gilmore, et al. v. Teachers Insurance Co., No. 18-1856, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14548).
SAN FRANCISCO — A builders risk insurer recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s finding that a faulty workmanship exclusion does not preclude coverage for an insured’s repair costs, arguing that the claimed loss was caused solely by the insured’s and its subcontractor’s faulty workmanship and construction (Engineered Structures, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company, No. 18-35588, 9th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — An insurer sued Make it Right Foundation (MIRF) and the charity foundation’s officers on Jan. 24 in a Louisiana federal court, alleging that it has no duty to defend or indemnify underlying claims of poor workmanship in homes built after Hurricane Katrina (TIG Insurance Co. v. Make It Right Foundation, et al., No. 20-00262, E.D. La.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An insurance policy’s exclusion for “projects and operations covered by a consolidated (wrap-up) insurance program” (OCIP exclusion) precludes coverage to an additional insured for an underlying construction defects lawsuit, a Florida federal magistrate judge held Jan. 24, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co., No. 18-81018, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12757).
LONDON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Jan. 23 refused to dismiss an insurer’s case against its insured regarding coverage for roof repairs and allowed the insurer to amend its complaint to assert damages including $876,700 in repair costs (Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Co. v. Balis Campbell, Inc., et al., No. 18-291, E.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11321).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer on Jan. 22 sued five other insurers in a California federal court seeking a declaration of their coverage obligations in the defense of a consolidated underlying construction defects case arising out of a Hampton Inn hotel project (ACE American Insurance Co. v. Old Republic General Insurance Corp., et al., No. 20-cv-00482, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI — A commercial general liability insurer in a Jan. 22 complaint seeks a declaration from a Florida federal court that there is no duty to defend or indemnify a construction defect action filed against its insured, a declaration that two other insurers owe coverage and contribution from those two insurers for any indemnity payments made on the insured’s behalf (Gemini Insurance Co. v. Delant Construction Co., et al., No. 20-20280, S.D. Fla.).
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.).