NEW ORLEANS — Indemnity and subrogation provisions are separate and unique terms, and a contract between a building owner and contractor waiving the latter does not violate Louisiana law, a state appeals court said April 20 in affirming a trial court opinion.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on May 31 awarded an insurer summary judgment in its suit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor insured in an underlying suit over defects in the construction of a firearms store and shooting range’s concrete pad, ruling that there are no material issues of fact about whether the contractor made material misrepresentations in his application for insurance.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on May 31 dismissed a dispute over a builders risk insurer’s denial of coverage for the cost of repairing fractured support beams used in the construction of a transit center after the parties in the action agreed to settle their claims.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 5 issued a pair of orders denying a commercial general liability insurer’s motions for summary judgment in a suit filed against it and its insured over the insured’s allegedly negligent pouring of a concrete foundation as part of the construction of a grocery store, ruling that material facts exist precluding the relief the insurer seeks.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An insurer’s claim for declaratory relief, in which it seeks a determination that it is not required to indemnify its insureds for any damages against them in an underlying lawsuit stemming from the insureds’ alleged negligent work on a construction site, is not ripe and must be dismissed because liability has not been determined in the underlying suit, a federal judge in Alabama ruled May 17 in dismissing the claim.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A lawsuit brought in Arkansas federal court against a homeowners insurer that denied coverage for a water damage claim based on the policy’s construction defects exclusion was dismissed May 23 after the parties stipulated to dismissal.
COLUMBUS, Ga. — No coverage is owed for sediment runoff into a neighboring pond created by an insured’s construction project because the policy’s pollution exclusion bars coverage as sediment runoff qualifies as pollution according to the policy’s definition of pollution, a Georgia federal judge said May 25 in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on May 2 declined to exercise jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment action filed by insurers against a home builder and others stemming from underlying actions filed by homeowners pertaining to alleged deficiencies they asserted they noticed during and after construction of their homes, ruling that the five-factor test set forth by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co. v. Consolidated Rail Corp. weighs against asserting jurisdiction.
GALVESTON, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on May 19 recommended that a contractor’s summary judgment motion against its insurers be granted in a lawsuit filed by the contractor seeking coverage for state court claims against it related to alleged defective condominium repairs, ruling that the events that led to the claims brought in the underlying action were the result of multiple occurrences and not just one.
RICHMOND, Va. — A general contractor and a commercial general liability insurer each will appeal a federal judge in Virginia’s ruling on reconsideration in a declaratory judgment lawsuit that an insurer does not owe its insured a duty to defend or indemnify in an underlying breach of contract lawsuit stemming from a subcontractor’s allegedly faulty roofing and siding work at an apartment complex, according to notices of appeal the parties filed May 4 and May 5, respectively.
MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on May 3 denied a commercial liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that the insurer has failed to plead that no genuine issue of material fact exists showing that it owes its insured contractor a defense in an underlying property damage lawsuit stemming from the contractor’s alleged faulty work performed on a condominium complex because the insurer has failed to provide sufficient evidence supporting its assertion that the insured’s alleged faulty workmanship caused the damages alleged.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on May 13 ruled that an insurer must provide a defense to an HVAC contractor in an underlying lawsuit seeking to hold the contractor liable for damages as a result of an allegedly faulty installation of an HVAC system because genuine issue of material fact exist as to whether the alleged liabilities stated against the insured fall within a policy exclusion.
BALTIMORE — In a one-paragraph brief, an insurer and a subcontractor told a federal judge in Maryland on May 3 that the parties had agreed to dismiss the insured’s lawsuit seeking a determination whether the insurer owed coverage for an underlying lawsuit filed against the subcontractor over its allegedly negligent installation of fire suppression systems in a condominium building.
PASADENA, Calif. — A district court correctly dismissed a breach of contract and bad faith suit related to alleged defective glass because no suit was filed against the insured as required by the insurance policy at issue, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 6 in affirming the lower court’s ruling.
SAN DIEGO — The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on April 29 entered judgment in favor of a general contractor in its suit seeking coverage from its subcontractors’ insurer for underlying state court actions alleging defective home construction and ordered the subcontractors’ insurer to pay the contractor $428,912.14 in damages and interest. The entry came the day after the judge presiding over the case granted the parties’ joint motion for judgment.
CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois in an April 29 docket entry denied as moot a general contractor’s motion for sanctions against a subcontractor’s insurers after receiving notice that day that the parties had settled the issue. The contractor filed the motion for sanctions April 11, less than two weeks after the judge presiding over the case overruled the insurers’ objections to the magistrate judge’s ruling partially granting the contractor’s request to compel production of various documents.
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on March 31 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract and bad faith suit against it filed by the professional liability insurer of an insurance broker as assignee of a commercial construction company sued for damages related to the design of a roofing system. The judge rejected the insurer’s arguments that it must consider the release agreement between the broker and the construction company and that punitive damages are unassignable.
RICHMOND, Va. — After granting partial summary judgment to an insurer last month, finding that it had no duty to defend in a construction defect suit, a Virginia federal judge on April 21 granted the insurer’s motion for reconsideration and vacated the March opinion and order, finding that because the insurer has no duty to defend its insured in an underlying state court action, it “has no duty to indemnify any party in the underlying action.”
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Supreme Court on April 27 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that a commercial general liability insurance policy clearly and unambiguously barred coverage for damages in an underlying negligence lawsuit arising from a plumber’s fall from a staircase that detached from its deck, finding that all claims against the general contractor insured arose out of a subcontractor’s allegedly negligent construction of the staircase.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A subcontractor on April 6 asked a federal judge in Oregon for sanctions, saying an insurer’s “revelation” on jurisdiction has in fact been litigated time and again in dozens of courts and is merely an attempt at avoiding a more than $3 million judgment. The motion came just days after the judge granted the insurer’s post-judgment motion and said he would consider briefing on any resulting motion to dismiss while expressing concern about attempts at manipulating jurisdiction.