ATLANTA — No coverage is owed for mold damage discovered in an insured hotel because the mold damage, caused by various construction defects, incepted prior to the applicable policy period and was not caused by an external event for which coverage would be afforded, a Georgia federal judge said March 15.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 12 asked the Texas Supreme Court to determine whether the exception to the eight-corners rule created in the federal appeals court’s decision in Northfield Ins. Co. v. Loving Home Care Inc. is permissible under Texas law and, if the exception can apply, whether a court can consider extrinsic evidence to determine when a date of occurrence happens when deciding whether a duty to defend exists.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama ruled March 4 that Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. is not required to pay $900,000 to a couple for claims of negligence and wantonness brought against a general contractor for the defective construction of their home, finding that the couple was unable to show the amount of damages that arose out of the covered injuries.
LAS VEGAS — Two homebuilders sued nine insurance companies in federal court in Nevada on March 2, complaining that the insurers breached the terms of policies issued to subcontractors who built a community recreation center by refusing to defend them in a construction lawsuit brought by a homeowners association or by not fully reimbursing the builders for defense costs.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Feb. 25 ruled that an insurer’s suit seeking contribution from another insurance company toward the defense and settlement of a suit brought against a concrete contractor that both companies issued policies to was untimely because it was brought more than two years after the contractor was dismissed from an underlying lawsuit and because the selective tender rule was inapplicable.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Feb. 26 sustained a trial court judge’s ruling that an insurer must satisfy its surety obligations under a performance bond it issued to a state housing authority, finding that the insurer could not argue on appeal that the bond was void under California law because the bid for the rehabilitation project was submitted by an unlicensed contractor.
JACKSON, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on March 1 awarded summary judgment to an insurer in a breach of contract suit brought by a roofing contractor over the insurer’s failure to fully pay for repairs to a church damaged by a hailstorm, finding that the contractual two-year statute of limitations in the policy issued to the church began to run on the day the insurer partially denied the claims.
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Feb. 24 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a suit brought by a construction manager seeking indemnification and defense in a school district’s lawsuit, finding that the construction manager was not listed as an additional insured on the policy at issue and that the agreement between the subcontractor and the school district required that the construction manager be included as an additional insured only until the project was complete.
TAMPA, Fla. — An insurer says in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida on Feb. 3 that it is not required to defend or indemnify a carpentry and siding subcontractor from coverage in a suit brought against it by a general contractor because the policyholder did not provide notice to the insurer of the suit until it was already found in default.
ATLANTA — An insurer says in a declaratory judgment lawsuit filed Feb. 22 in federal court in Georgia that it should not be required to defend or indemnify a subcontractor accused by a general contractor of improperly installing an exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) on a North Carolina hotel because the alleged damages stemming from the work are excluded from a commercial general liability policy.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 26 upheld an insurer’s summary judgment award in a declaratory judgment suit brought by a concrete maker alleging that its insurer had a duty to indemnify and defend it in a state court lawsuit brought against a masonry subcontractor, holding that the insurer was not required to defend or indemnify its insured because the subcontractor did not complain of property damage as a result of allegedly defective concrete.
SHERMAN, Texas — A homebuilder filed a breach of contract lawsuit against its insurer in federal court in Texas on Feb. 23, saying the insurer breached the terms of a policy it issued to the builder by failing to defend and indemnify it against a state court lawsuit brought by a couple over construction defects.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 12 awarded summary judgment to an insurance company named as a surety in a performance bond, finding that the insurer has no duty to indemnify a general contractor for almost $3 million in damages for a subcontractor’s allegedly faulty work because the contractor did not satisfy a condition precedent that required it to terminate the agreement with the subcontractor.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 22 granted in part a general contractor’s motion to dismiss cross-claims brought by the installer of a sprinkler system in a suit over water damages caused by a frozen sprinkler supply line, finding that the system installer could pursue a claim for contribution from the general contractor but not indemnification.
NEW YORK — A New York justice wrote in an order filed Feb. 16 that a general contractor accused by the subrogee insurer of the owner of a suite housing a dermatology practice and others of failing to install a heater that would have prevented a sprinkler head from freezing and subsequently bursting, resulting water damage, was entitled to summary judgment because the contractor sufficiently showed that it performed its work in accordance with plans prepared by the architect and designer.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Feb. 9 recommended denying a hotel operator’s motion to dismiss an insurer’s third-party lawsuit against it, finding that the insurer sufficiently states claims for breach of contract and conversion based on the hotel operator’s failure to pay a contractor an agreed upon $195,000 to resolve the contractor’s breach of contract suit over remediation work for water damage.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 reversed a trial court judge’s ruling striking a swivel hose adaptor maker’s request for trial de novo in a subrogation lawsuit brought by an insurance company to recover damages it paid to an insured, finding that the judge’s opinion about how the manufacturer acted during an arbitration hearing was inconsistent.
DALLAS — An insurer says in a Feb. 2 motion to dismiss filed in federal court in Texas that causes of action for violations of the Texas Insurance Code brought by Pulte Homes of Texas LP and Centex Homes should be dismissed because the allegations underlying the claims do not satisfy the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b).
GULFPORT, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi on Feb. 1 dismissed without prejudice an insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit against a contractor and a couple accusing the contractor of construction defects, finding that the court should abstain from presiding over the case after the homeowners amended a state court lawsuit to assert claims against the insurer.
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on Jan. 19 dismissed without prejudice a defendant developer in a declaratory judgment lawsuit brought by its insurer and allowed a homebuilder to file a third-party complaint against the developer’s insurance carriers.