FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Sept. 24 dismissed a commercial general liability insurer’s coverage dispute regarding its duty to indemnify an insured against construction defect claims because the matter is not ripe for review (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Delacruz Drywall Plastering & Stucco Inc., et al., No. 16-720, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162864).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A commercial general liability insurer’s declaratory judgment case against an insured contractor and homeowners should proceed regarding coverage for noxious gas found in a home after spray foam insulation work, a New Mexico federal magistrate judge held Sept. 20 (International Insurance Company of Hannover SE v. Connors & Sons Classy Construction LLC, et al., No. 17-0825, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161805).
HARTFORD, Conn. — No coverage is owed to a homeowner seeking coverage for the deterioration of her home’s foundation as a result of a chemical reaction in the concrete used to build the home because the damage gradually occurred over time and was not sudden and accidental as required by the policy, a Connecticut federal judge said Sept. 20 (Maureen E. Carney v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-592, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161401).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that an insurer has no duty to provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that its plastics company insured manufactured a faulty laminate (Berry Plastics Corp. v. Illinois National Insurance Co., No. 17-1815, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25576).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).