MIAMI — In a coverage dispute between a contractor’s insurer and a subcontractor’s insurer over the duty to defend a construction defects lawsuit on a primary and noncontributory basis, a Florida federal judge on Feb. 5 ruled that the subcontractor insurer’s policy precludes additional insured coverage under the completed-operations hazard exclusion (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Granada Insurance Co., No. 18-21207, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19240).
PHILADELPHIA — A commercial general liability insurer alleges in a Jan. 24 complaint filed in a Pennsylvania federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor and subcontractor in an underlying construction defects case (Seneca Specialty Insurance Co. v. Top Class Construction Inc., et al., No. 19-363, E.D. Pa.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on Feb. 1 denied an insured subcontractor’s motion to dismiss its insurer’s dispute regarding coverage for an underlying breach of contract and breach of express warranty case brought by homeowners (Great Lakes Insurance SE v. AMCO Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-631, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16040).
SAN DIEGO — A commercial general liability insurer showed that its insured must reimburse it $50,000 in deductibles for payments it made in settlement of two construction defects actions, a California appeals panel held Jan. 31 (Lexington Insurance Co. v. Timber Ridge Framing Inc., No. D073412, Calif. App., 4th Dist. Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 802).
NEWARK, N.J. — A commercial general liability insurer is responsible for paying damages for defective concrete delivered to two New Jersey projects, a concrete producer claims in its Jan. 30 complaint filed in New Jersey federal court (County Concrete Corp. v. Greenwich Insurance Co., No. 19-03449, D. N.J.).
PHILADELPHIA — An insurer has a duty to defend two construction defect actions because there are sufficient allegations of products-related tort claims such that there may have been an “occurrence,” a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Jan. 30 (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. 200 Christian Street Partners LLC, et al., Nos. 18-1364 & 18-1545, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15060).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An insurance policy covers damage to a school caused by the rupture of a water pipe beneath the school, a majority of the Oklahoma Supreme Court held Jan. 29, reversing the entry of summary judgment to an insurer (Oklahoma Schools Risk Management Trust v. McAlester Public Schools, No. 114553, Okla. Sup., 2019 Okla. LEXIS 2).
DALLAS — A subrogated insurer sued another insurer on Jan. 7 in a Texas federal court asserting breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims and seeking recovery of costs in the defense of a mutual insured in an underlying construction defects lawsuit (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 19-32, N.D. Texas).
AUSTIN, Texas — According to its Jan. 25 orders pronounced, the Texas Supreme Court denied an 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, also lifting the stay of the coverage lawsuit over the installation of defective heating ventilation and air conditioning units (In re Union Insurance Co., No. 18-0353, Texas Sup.).
ST. LOUIS — An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify allegations that defective construction caused water infiltration in condominium units, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 28, because the property damage occurred outside the policy period (Clarke Company Ltd. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-2418, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2760).
TAMPA, Fla. — An insurer on Jan. 7 sued a home builder and the owners of the property in a Florida federal court, seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify them in relation to an underlying lawsuit in which the owners allege the property contains defects (Southern-Owners Insurance Co. v. Russ Building Concepts, et al., No. 19-00042, M.D. Fla.).
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court majority on Jan. 25 determined that a pollution liability insurer breached its duty to defend an additional insured for underlying property damage claims arising out of a sewage backup and said that the additional insured’s defense costs, which were paid by another insurer, must be allocated on a pro rata basis between the two insurers (Steadfast Insurance Co. v. Greenwich Insurance Co., No. 2016AP1631, Wis. Sup., 2019 Wisc. LEXIS 9).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 22 addressed the change in a cited case as it pertains to four orders issued in an insurance coverage lawsuit concerning underlying construction defects lawsuits and denied the insurer’s motion for leave to file motions for reconsideration (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Centex Homes, No. 11-03638, Related Case Nos. 12-00371 & 13-00088, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10261).
ROCKVILLE, Conn. — Insureds seeking coverage for the cracking of their home’s foundation walls filed a notice of appeal on Jan. 3 to the Connecticut Appellate Court following a Connecticut state judge’s finding that no coverage is afforded for the cracking foundation walls because there was no abrupt collapse of the home’s walls, as required by two of the applicable policies, and because the loss was caused by cracking, an excluded cause of loss under another of the policies (Michael Willenborg, et al. v. Unitrin Preferred Ins. Co., et al., No. 166010936S, Conn. Super.).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Claims that work on a pool resulted in a faulty and unusable pool are not claims for covered “property damage,” a Georgia federal judge ruled Jan. 17, granting summary judgment to an insurer on declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith claims (Delma Cowart v. Nautilus Insurance Co., NO. 17-142, S.D. Ga., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8531).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a dispute over coverage for water damage, a New Mexico federal judge on Jan. 8 denied summary judgment to a homeowners insurer on statutory claims and negligence asserted under the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act and the New Mexico Unfair Insurance Practices Act but granted summary judgment on a negligence claim (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4158).
DENVER — “Pop-outs” in a concrete floor “did not physically injure or damage any tangible property other than the floor” and, thus, did not constitute “property damage” under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Colorado federal judge held Jan. 8 (Kalman Floor Co. v. Old Republic General Insurance Corp., No. 17- 01703, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3319).
BOSTON — Leaks in a condominium unit were not “property damage” that occurred during a policy period, a Massachusetts federal judge held Jan. 8, granting summary judgment to an insurer on another insurer’s breach of contract claim (Clarendon National Insurance Co. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 17-12541, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3322).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on a bad faith claim alleged by insureds who maintain that they are entitled to coverage for water damage because the insureds presented sufficient facts from which a jury could find that the insurer’s coverage denial was made in bad faith, a New Mexico federal judge said Dec. 20 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215009).
BOSTON — A contract liability exclusion precludes coverage for any work assumed by a general contractor to repair a subcontractor’s defective work in a gymnasium floor, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Jan. 4, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims (Lee Kennedy Co. Inc. v. Arch Insurance Co., No. 17-10698, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1448).