NEW YORK — An insurer is not obligation to defend a stop-work order issued by the New York City Department of Buildings because the order is not a suit under the terms of the policy at issue, a New York County Supreme Court justice said Sept. 18 (Aspen Specialty Insurance Co. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., et al., and D7 Construction 101 LLC, et al. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., Nos. 653950/12, 590527/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4063).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — After holding that a property owner was entitled to an appraisal of damage under its policy and that the owner’s claims sounded in breach of contract, a Florida federal magistrate judge on Oct. 18 recommended that the case be stayed pending an appraisal and that the owner file an amended complaint against an insurer to assert a breach of contract claim (ABC University Shops, LLC v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 18-60562, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181022).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — While a general contractor and a subcontractor were both found responsible for damages arising out of delays to the construction on new barracks at a U.S. Army base, a Georgia federal jury on Oct. 26 found that a surety owed no coverage for the damages (Cleveland Construction Inc. v. Stellar Group Inc., et al., No. 16-179, M.D. Ga.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 declined to stay a coverage dispute over a defectively constructed project for an in camera review and instead ordered an insurer to produce documents pertaining to reinsurance and reserves (ContraVest Inc., et al. v. Mt. Hawley Insurance Co., No. 15-00304, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182196).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Oct. 19 denied a number of motions to dismiss filed by defendant insurers in a class action suit seeking coverage for the deterioration and cracking of homeowners’ basement walls caused by the use of defective concrete after determining that the motions will best be addressed after the Connecticut high court answers a certified question regarding whether a collapse provision, used in numerous policies, should be applied to the homeowners’ claims (Michael Halloran v. Harleysville Preferred Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-133, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179807).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homeowners sufficiently raised allegations on whether an insurer acted in good faith in denying their water damages claim and if the insurer breached the contract by failing to investigate the claim, a New Mexico federal judge ruled Oct. 17, denying summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract claims (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179385).
LOS ANGELES — In an Oct. 11 complaint filed in a California federal court, an insurer argues that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor and subcontractor because a total pollution exclusion and a professional liability exclusion bar coverage for an underlying construction defects case (Houston Casualty Co. v. Rosebud Ventures LLC, et al., No. 18-8777, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Sept. 27 heard arguments in an equitable contribution dispute between two insurers regarding fees incurred in the defense of a real estate developer as an additional insured in an underlying construction defect action (Interstate Fire and Casualty Co. v. Axis Surplus Insurance Co., No. B286980, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8).
NEW YORK — In a coverage dispute over damages from excavation work, a subcontractor’s insurer did not provide any additional insured coverage to a developer, a New York justice held Oct. 9, dismissing breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims against the insurer (350 East Houston Street LLC, et al. v. Travelers Indemnity Company of America, et al., No. 650450/2018, N.Y. Sup., N.Y. Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4579).
AUSTIN, Texas — Two insurers allege in an Oct. 12 complaint filed in a Texas federal court that they have no coverage obligations for a $130 million arbitration proceeding in which an insured is accused of defective construction work on a Texas state highway project (American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Zachry Industrial Inc., No. 18-872, W.D. Texas).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Oct. 9 that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend a contractor against a university’s lawsuit because subcontractor faulty workmanship is not fortuitous and does not meet the definition of an “occurrence” (Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 2017-0514, Ohio Sup., 2018 Ohio LEXIS 2375).
DENVER — An insurer’s contractual indemnity claim against a contractor survived dismissal; however, a Colorado federal judge held Sept. 27 that the insurer’s contribution claim is barred under a settlement release regarding damages from a collapse (Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. RStart LLC, No. 18-00478 c/w 18-00564, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166429).
MIAMI — An insurer has a duty to defend mold and water damages caused by an insured’s negligent installation of windows, a Florida federal judge held Oct. 5, adopting a magistrate’s recommendation to deny summary judgment to the insurer (National Builders Insurance Co. v. RQ Building Products Inc., et al., No. 17-61474, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172705).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 affirmed that an insured home’s foundation damage was not covered because the policy excludes coverage for a collapse that was caused by cracking based upon the use of faulty materials (Geung-Ho Kim, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-2304, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28300).
HONOLULU — A possibility of coverage for construction defect claims exists due to a revised occurrence endorsement, a Hawaii federal judge held Sept. 24, granting partial summary judgment to an insured regarding an insurer’s duty to defend but finding the duty-to-indemnify issue to be premature (Gemini Insurance Co. v. Constrx Ltd., No. 14-00355, D. Hawaii, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163453).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 3 denied a couple’s motion to remand their lawsuit seeking damages for Chinese-made drywall that was installed in their home following Hurricane Katrina, finding that they improperly joined their insurer as a defendant (Cedric Richmond, et al. v. National Gypsum Services Co., No. 17-7453, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170814).
CAMDEN, N.J. — An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured subcontractor for construction defects allegations because the policy excludes coverage for residential new construction work, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 28 (Colony Insurance Co. v. Troensa Construction Inc., et al., No. 17-03577, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167683).
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Because some damages arising out of construction defects are covered by commercial general liability insurance policies and because insurers did not effectively reserve their right to contest coverage, a South Carolina federal judge on Sept. 28 granted summary judgment to a condominium association (Stoneledge at Lake Keowee Owners Association Inc. v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-01906, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167792).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — No coverage is owed to insureds for water damage discovered in their hotel property because the policy’s exclusion for continuous water leakage precludes coverage, an Illinois federal judge said Sept. 24, noting that the evidence shows that there were years of leaks and dampness in the room where the water damage was discovered (Tracy Holdings LLC v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-3100, C.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162363).