BOSTON — A church’s loss when its ceiling fell is covered by the collapse coverage part of an insurance policy, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge ruled May 10, finding that “faulty construction” and “wear and tear” exclusions do not apply (Easthampton Congregational Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-30061, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78777).
SEATTLE — A district court did not err in finding that an insurer owes no coverage for damage to apartments from hidden decay under its policies’ “collapse” provisions because the damage has not rendered the apartment building unfit or unsafe for occupancy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 9 (American Economy Insurance Co. v. CHL LLC, No. 16-35606, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12159).
ORLANDO, Fla. — In an insurance coverage dispute for a construction defects case, a Florida federal magistrate judge on May 9 denied homeowners’ request for an extension to comply with case management deadlines and for a protective order on the depositions (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Stanley Homes Inc., et al., No. 17-1512, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77841).
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a May 4 complaint filed in a Delaware court, a subrogated homeowners insurer seeks reimbursement of $65,300.83 paid to insureds for property damage caused by defective installation of a solar panel system (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. KW Solar Solutions Inc., et al., No. N18C-05, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
CINCINNATI — A homeowners insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in refusing to replace an entire roof of its insureds’ home, which suffered damages during a storm, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 7, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Tracy Avery, et al. v. Erie Insurance Co., No. 17-562, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76351).
FLORENCE, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on May 4 declined to dismiss a counterclaim against a commercial general liability insurer seeking a declaration on coverage for an underlying construction defect lawsuit (American Southern Insurance Co. v. Affordable Home Improvements, et al., No. 17-02366, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75524).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Eight insurers under 27 insurance policies owe no reimbursement to an aluminum products manufacturer against costs from an underlying settlement over the sale of faulty windows, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 1, finding that the policies do not cover damages caused by the insured’s intentional conduct (Sapa Extrusions Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2827, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73162).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — No coverage is afforded for insureds’ claims arising out of the cracking and deterioration of their home’s basement walls as a result of a chemical reaction in the foundation’s concrete because the policy’s collapse provision provides coverage only for abrupt collapses, a Connecticut federal judge said May 2 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (John Enderle, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-1510, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74186).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on April 30 refused to alter or amend his ruling dismissing a breach of contract claim against an insured for its alleged failure to pay per-occurrence deductibles that would have offset an amount an insurer paid to settle underlying water damage claims filed by townhome owners and an association (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Greater Midwest Builders Ltd., et al., No. 17-2561, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71857).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on April 30 certified to the state high court a question that asks what constitutes a “substantial impairment of structural integrity” such that the policy’s collapse provision would apply to the loss (Steven Karas, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 13-1836, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71844).
PHILADELPHIA — There are genuine issues of material fact as to whether a homeowners insurance policy covered a collapse, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge held April 26, noting that there is competing testimony on whether the collapse was caused by improper construction or long-term deterioration (Jocelyn Desvarieux, et al. v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-2564, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71230).
MIAMI — In a coverage dispute over the installation of Chinese drywall, a subcontractor failed to establish that an excess insurer has a duty to indemnify it for its damages, a Florida federal judge ruled April 25, granting summary judgment to the excess insurer on claims for declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith (Peninsula II Developers Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 09-23691, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69479).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on April 24 granted an insurer’s motion for temporary relief to stay a coverage lawsuit over the installation of defective heating ventilation and air conditioning units pending its ruling on the insurer’s petition for writ of mandamus seeking to clarify a party’s right to object to an assigned judge when the party first learns of the assignment the day of the first hearing or trial (In re Union Insurance Co., No. 18-0353, Texas Sup.).
LAS VEGAS — A primary insurer and an excess insurer failed to demonstrate the number of proximate causes and the number of occurrences regarding coverage of a construction defects case against their mutual insured, a Nevada federal judge ruled April 18 (AIG Specialty Insurance Co. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-01260, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65198).
BALTIMORE — A settlement agreement did not extinguish a waiver of subrogation provision in a prime contract, a Maryland appellate panel ruled April 17, finding no error in the entry of summary judgment to a contractor and subcontractors on a subrogated insurer’s negligence and breach of contract claims because the claims were barred by the subrogation waiver (National Surety Corp. v. K&C Framing Inc., et al., No. 1711, Md. Spec. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 358).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 16 vacated a district court’s ruling that coverage is barred for water damage caused by a collapsed pipe after determining that the policy’s water exclusion does not apply to water damage caused by a failure within the property’s plumbing system (Ken Cameron and Michelle Cameron v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 17-11907, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9800).
SEATTLE — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend and indemnify a general contractor in a breach of contract case because the insured failed to comply with policy conditions regarding obtaining certificates of insurance and hold-harmless agreements with subcontractors, a Washington federal judge ruled April 16 (Developers Surety and Indemnity Co. v. Alis Homes LLC, et al., No. 17-0707, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63741).
MIAMI — An all-risk commercial property insurance policy does not provide coverage for property damage to a building that occurred gradually over an extended period, a Florida federal judge ruled April 10, noting that insureds knew of the gradual deterioration before the date they allege the collapse occurred (The S.O. Beach Corp., et al. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, No. 17-22254, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60235).
NEW YORK — After finding that disputes over insurers’ alleged duty to defend and indemnify were not ripe for consideration, a New York federal judge on March 31 declined to rule on summary judgment motions and stayed the case pending the outcome of underlying property damage litigation pending in Canada (Lafarge Canada Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co., No. 15-CV-8957, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56123).
GREENVILLE, Miss. — An insurer may not rely on the doctrine of fraudulent misjoinder as a basis for removal jurisdiction, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled April 5 in remanding an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court (Kenneth Strachan, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-0138, N.D. Miss., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58226).