NEW HAVEN, Conn. — No coverage is owed to insureds seeking coverage for damages to their home’s foundation walls caused by a chemical reaction in the concrete used in the foundation because the insureds failed to prove that a collapse of the foundation will occur in the foreseeable future, a Connecticut federal judge said July 31 (Christopher D. Lester, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-909, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127711).
PITTSBURGH — In an insurer’s subrogation action, a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 30 dismissed cross-claims against a city’s building code inspector for its alleged negligence in approving plans for a home’s renovation that resulted in a fire because the code inspector has governmental immunity (Great Northern Insurance Co. v. Whipple-Allen Real Estate, et al. v. Kellick Construction Co., et al., No. 18-41, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126658).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on July 30 refused to dismiss or stay an insurer’s claims regarding the issue of its duty to indemnify underlying allegations of construction defects and deficiencies in a conversion of apartments to condominiums (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Maitland Center LLC, et al., No. 18-80452, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126460).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Allegations of damages caused only by insureds’ intended activities do not arise from an “occurrence,” a West Virginia federal judge ruled July 25, finding that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify the insureds (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. GC&P Development LLC, et al., No. 17-60, N.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124333).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on July 25 declined an insurer’s request to amend its answer to assert contribution claims against nine insurers who are no longer parties to a condominium association’s lawsuit seeking coverage for water damage (Quarterdeck Condominium Association of Apartment Owners v. Safeco Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-0999, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124651).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A dispute over whether insurance policies show that a subcontractor’s insurer was an excess insurer to a contractor and, therefore, had no duty to defend or indemnify against construction defects claims should be decided on summary judgment, a Florida federal judge ruled July 26, denying a motion to dismiss (Alta Mar Condominium Association Inc., et al. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-359, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124864).
PHILADELPHIA — Regarding a contractor’s retainage claim against a subcontractor and its sureties on a delayed project, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 24 that the subcontractor cannot rely on a pay-if-paid clause because the subcontractor prevented the occurrence of a condition precedent regardless of whether its actions were deliberate (Connelly Construction Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, et al., No. 16-555, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123009).
HARTFORD, Conn. — An insurer has no duty to provide coverage to its insureds for the cracking of the concrete used in the home’s basement walls because the insureds failed to allege that a sudden or abrupt collapse occurred as required by policy’s collapse provision, a Connecticut federal judge said July 24 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Kenneth Andrew, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-1192, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123328).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A subcontractor argues to the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 10 brief that there is no split on how federal appellate courts predict how a state high court would rule over whether faulty work that caused damage to an insured’s own work can constitute an “occurrence” (Aspen Insurance [UK] Ltd, et al. v. Black & Veatch Corp., No. 17-1662, U.S. Sup.).
HONOLULU — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 20 affirmed a trial court’s award of fees to a homeowners association (HOA), holding that fees incurred by property owners seeking coverage for damage caused by water leaks were within the scope of the policy (Association of Apartment Owners of The Moorings Inc. v. Dongbu Insurance Co., Ltd., No. 16-16666, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20251).
SAN FRANCISCO — An agreement was void insofar as it provided that insurers were required to indemnify a subcontractor for its negligence, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 20, upholding the entry of summary judgment to insurers against a county as assignee of the subcontractor’s claims (First Mercury Insurance Co., et al. v. Westchester Surplus Line Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-35888, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20253).
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling, a Louisiana appeals panel on July 18 entered summary judgment in favor of an insurer and dismissed a third-party demand for the insurer’s alleged failure to provide coverage for defect claims (Shane Pierce, et al. v. Irma M. Rodriguez, et al., No. 17-681, La. App., 3rd Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 214).
LAKELAND, Fla. — In a breach of contract dispute involving a contractor, subcontractor and a surety, a Florida appeals panel on July 18 reversed an order finding that an arbitration clause in a subcontract is void and unenforceable because if the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applies, it preempts a Florida statute (Sacshe Construction and Development Corp. v. Affirmed Drywall Corp., et al., No. 2D17-4276, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 9998).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M — A commercial general liability insurer has standing to assert a declaratory judgment claim against a condominium association in a coverage dispute over an underlying construction defects action, a New Mexico federal judge ruled July 16 (United Fire and Casualty Co. v. Caskey Drywall NM LLC, et al., No. 17-1108, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117982).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments on June 12 in a dispute between a commercial general liability insurer, a contractor and a university over whether coverage exists for damages sustained in a construction project as a result of allegedly defective work caused by subcontractors (Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 2017-0514, Ohio Sup.).
SEATTLE — Exercising inherent authority, a Washington federal judge on July 13 paused T-Mobile Northeast LLC’s lawsuit seeking coverage for alleged damage caused by a cell phone tower to allow two related lawsuits to proceed (T-Mobile Northeast LLC v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 17-1289, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117694).
ROCKVILLE, Conn. — A Connecticut state judge on June 28 determined that only one of five insurers may have to provide coverage to insureds for the deterioration of the insureds’ basement walls as a result of the oxidization of the concrete used to construct the basement’s walls (Richard N. Dino, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., No. CV166010428S, Conn. Super., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1262).
SEATTLE — In a water damage and mold coverage suit concerning an insurer’s denial of investigation costs, a Washington federal judge on July 12 ordered an in camera review of documents provided by the insurer to determine whether attorney-client privilege applies (Market Place North Condominium Association v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., No. 17-625, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116381).
HOUSTON — Under the eight-corners rule, a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend a monastery’s professional negligence claim against an insured contractor, a Texas federal judge ruled July 10, granting partial summary judgment to the contractor and the monastery (Everest National Insurance Co. v. Gessner Engineering LLC, et al., No. 17-2981, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113849).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse a district court’s ruling in favor of an excess insurer in a Chinese drywall coverage dispute because the district court failed to apply to correct standard of law in finding that the excess insurer has no duty to indemnify, a contractor argues in a July 9 brief (American Home Assurance Co. v. Gryphon Construction LLC et al., No. 18-12031, 11th Cir.).