SPOKANE, Wash. — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify a $1.7 million judgment against an insured for unfinished construction work, a Washington federal judge ruled Nov. 26, finding that an independent contractors limitation of coverage endorsement (ICL) relieves the insurer of its duty (The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Milionis Construction Inc., et al., No. 17-00341, E.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199658).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured failed to comply with the Contractors Special Conditions in its insurance policy before an underlying construction defects lawsuit was filed, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 28, affirming a lower court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to duty to defend and indemnify (ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Company RRG v. Phoenix Contracting Inc. and FHC LLC, No. 17-35861, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33384).
ABINGDON, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on Nov. 28 determined that no coverage is afforded under a homeowners policy for mold damage because the policy at issue clearly excludes coverage for mold (Chad Poore et al., v. Main Street America Assurance Co. et al., No. 18-22, W.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200998).
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 16 again reversed and remanded a $542,883.49 judgment in favor of the insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute, finding that its determination that the jury instructions were confusing and may have misled the jury was not affected by a 2016 decision by the Florida Supreme Court (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Rona Salkey, et al., No. 2D14-3002 consolidated with No. 2D14-5077, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 16438).
HARTFORD, Conn. — No coverage is afforded under a policy’s collapse provision for the cracking in the basements walls of an insured home caused by a chemical reaction in the concrete because the policy specifically requires a collapse to be an “abrupt falling down or caving in,” a Connecticut federal judge said Nov. 27 in dismissing the insureds’ complaint (Lawrence Cockill, et al. v. Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-254, D. Conn., 18-254, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200172).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An excess insurer’s case against Lumber Liquidators Inc. regarding coverage for lawsuits alleging injuries as a result of toxic levels of formaldehyde in the insured’s laminate flooring was dismissed Nov. 16 after a Virginia federal judge found it more efficient to have the dispute resolved in an earlier-filed and parallel Wisconsin state court lawsuit (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., et al., No. 18-2820, E.D. Va.).
PHILADELPHIA — Because there has been no finding of liability in 10 construction defect cases, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 14 dismissed a commercial general liability insurer’s lawsuit on the scope of its duty to indemnify as it is not ripe (First Specialty Insurance Corp. v. Hudson Palmer Homes Inc., et al., No. 17-5732, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194560).
LONDON, Ky. — There is no duty to defend or indemnify negligent roof bracing work under a commercial general liability insurance policy and an umbrella policy, an insurer alleges in a Nov. 13 complaint filed in a Kentucky federal court, because faulty work is not an “occurrence” (Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Co. v. Balis Campbell Inc., et al., No. 18-00291, E.D. Ky.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Nov. 8 amended a prior ruling on a number of motions to dismiss filed by defendant insurers in a class action suit seeking coverage for the deterioration and cracking of homeowners’ basement walls caused by the use of defective concrete to clarify that the claims asserted by two plaintiffs against their insurer are dismissed and that three additional insurers must be dismissed entirely from the suit (Michael Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-133, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191215).
MIAMI — A commercial general liability insurer cites a mold exclusion among others in its Nov. 8 complaint seeking a declaratory judgment from a Florida federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify damages caused by a condominium association’s failure to remediate mold following a hurricane (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Aquasol Condominium Association Inc., et al., No. 18-24692, S.D. Fla.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Nov. 9 dismissed insureds’ claims for breach of contract and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) against an insurer regarding the denial of coverage for cracking caused by allegedly defective concrete in the insureds’ basement walls (Robert John Houlihan, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-184, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192032).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An insurer alleges in a Nov. 8 complaint filed in a Florida federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor against defects allegations in a condominium development because the policy does not provide coverage for new construction (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. WCI Communities Inc., No. 18-62716, S.D. Fla.).
FLORENCE, S.C. — In a Nov. 8 complaint, an insurer seeks a declaration from a South Carolina federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify contractors against defects allegations in a residential development because no “property damage” occurred during the policy period (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Carlos Castro, et al., No. 18-03026, D. S.C.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Coverage for underlying claims filed against an insured as a result of two bridge collapses is subject to a policy’s $3 million liability limit, rather than the policy’s $5 million aggregate limit, because the claims are related claims that arose from the same design failure by the insured, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 7 in affirming a district court’s opinion (Stewart Engineering Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 18-1386, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31521).
MONROE, La. — In granting reconsideration in part, a Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 5 reopened an insurer’s coverage dispute regarding allegations that a subcontractor’s faulty work led to children becoming sick from excess moisture (Houston Specialty Insurance Co. v. Ascension Insulation & Supply Inc., et al., No. 17-1010, W.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189303).
HAMMOND, Ind. — An insured alleges in a Nov. 5 complaint filed in an Indiana federal court that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith when denying coverage based upon a condominium exclusion for cracking damage caused by the insured’s work (Gary Material Supply LLC v. Western World Insurance Group, No. 18-00421, N.D. Ind.).
AUSTIN, Texas — No coverage is owed for a collapse that occurred during the construction of a hotel because the collapse is precluded by a policy’s earth movement exclusion, sewer exclusion and defects exclusion, an insurer argues in a Nov. 2 response to the insured’s motion for summary judgment (White Lodging Services Corp., et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-277, W.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES — In an equitable contribution dispute, a California appeals panel on Oct. 31 held that an insurer failed to show that a real estate developer was an additional insured under another insurer’s policies for purpose of reimbursement of defense costs in an underlying construction defect action (Interstate Fire and Casualty Co. v. Axis Surplus Insurance Co., No. B286980, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7393).
CHICAGO — Denying a motion for reconsideration, an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 31 upheld his ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured for a default judgment entered in favor of condominium association in an underlying construction defects lawsuit (Essex Insurance Co. v. The Structural Shop Ltd., et al., No. 15-2806, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186620).
LOS ANGELES — In an Oct. 18 complaint filed California federal court, insurers for subcontractors seek equitable reimbursement from contractors as additional insureds for defense costs incurred in 51 underlying construction defects cases (The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al. v. Pulte Group Inc., et al., No. 18-08994, C.D. Calif.).