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.
CHICAGO — A general contractor that obtained a judgment against a subcontractor that supplied defective materials for a construction project at O’Hare Airport moved for sanctions against the subcontractor’s insurers on April 11, less than two weeks after a federal judge in Illinois overruled the insurers’ objections to a magistrate judge’s ruling partially granting the contractor’s request to compel production of various documents. The contractor says the insurers’ objections were based on arguments that were not presented to the magistrate judge.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California in a one-page April 5 order denied a builders risk insurer’s motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration of a Feb. 15 ruling denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for the cost of repairing fractured support beams, finding “no basis for reconsideration.”
TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on April 8 granted a stipulated motion to dismiss with prejudice a condominium owners’ association’s suit against its insurer related to the insurer’s denial of the association’s claim for hidden damage to sheathing and framework at the condominium complex.
BROOKLYN, N.Y — A default judgment was entered April 8 as to an excavation subcontractor after a New York federal judge issued a docket-only order adopting a magistrate judge’s recommendation to grant a commercial general liability insurer’s default judgment motion because of a state court’s finding that the subcontractor was liable for damages to an adjacent property in an underlying negligence suit.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on April 5 issued a dismissal order after being advised that an insurer and plumber settled the subrogated insurer’s suit related to the plumber’s alleged negligence regarding installation of an exterior wall’s pot filler and failing to ensure there was adequate insulation in the pipes leading to the pot filler.
DENVER — A valuation provision in a remodeler coverage endorsement applies to an insured’s claim for the collapse of its building because the remodeler coverage endorsement states that the endorsement’s valuation provision replaces any other valuation provision in the policy and without the endorsement, no coverage would be afforded for the collapse of the building, which was undergoing renovations, a Colorado federal judge said March 30 in granting a builders risk insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge on March 30 granted summary judgment to a plumbing parts manufacturer and to a condominium council in an action filed by a third-party plumbing subcontractor seeking contribution and indemnification for liability in underlying lawsuits arising from alleged water damage in a condominium building, finding that the subcontractor’s claims failed “to create a genuine dispute” regarding the manufacturer or the council’s liability.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — In response to a court-ordered status report about insurers’ cross-claims against a subcontractor and his company, a Kentucky federal judge on April 11 issued an order dismissing the cross-claims against the subcontractor but keeping the claims against his company in a coverage action related to alleged faulty water remediation.
NEW ORLEANS — Guided by the Texas Supreme Court’s “thoughtful analysis” of two certified questions, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 12 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend a commercial driller insured against an underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit, rejecting the insurer’s contention that two policy exclusions preclude coverage.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut in an April 5 text-only order dismissed a consolidated action by a municipality, contractors, manufacturers and insurers concerning the failure of a sewer pipe liner in West Hartford, Conn., the same day a minute entry in the docket indicates that the parties had reached a settlement “of all claims in the case” during a settlement conference that day.