LOS ANGELES — The denial of coverage for mold and water damages sustained in numerous buildings of an insured’s construction project constitutes a breach of contract and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing because some of the damages for which the insured seeks coverage are covered under the builders risk insurance policy, an insured contends in a Feb. 23 complaint filed in California federal court.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 28 issued a pair of rulings trimming expert testimony and claims in a consolidated action by a municipality, contractors, manufacturers and insurers concerning the failure of a sewer pipe liner in West Hartford, Conn.
SAN ANTONIO — Finding that one contractor of two contractors named in an insurer’s negligence and breach of implied warranty action did not file written consent to removal within 30 days of service, a federal magistrate judge in Texas on March 2 recommended that the suit be remanded to state court.
CHICAGO — No coverage is owed for an insured’s faulty workmanship because the damages caused by the insured’s defective work do not constitute property damages as required by the policy and because the mold damages discovered in the home are excluded by the policy’s fungi or bacteria exclusion, an Illinois federal judge said March 2 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
By Thomas F. Segalla, Michael T. Glascott, Ashlyn M. Capote, Adam R. Durst, Sean P. Hvisdas and Samantha M. McDermott
ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on Feb. 1 denied motions for summary judgment, for evidence spoliation exclusion and for exclusion of defense experts in a lawsuit against a construction company and a subcontractor accused of starting a fire in a hotel laundry exhaust system.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Feb. 9 vacated a judgment against an insurer and remanded a coverage lawsuit related to an underlying construction defects action for alleged faulty workmanship, finding that the damage did not constitute an “occurrence” and the insurer was not required to indemnify the contractor.
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 18 granted an insured’s motion to strike an insurer’s designation of third parties allegedly responsible for an insured’s damages sustained in a mold and water damage dispute after determining that the insurer failed to provide evidence supporting its claim that the third parties’ actions caused damages incurred by the insured after an expert changed its position regarding the cause of the water and mold damages.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 2 ordered an insurer seeking reimbursement from a contractor and the installer of a fireplace for a fire that damaged an insured home to establish by affidavit that complete diversity of citizenship among the parties exists.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — A week after a Vermont federal judge granted summary judgment to a cubicle installer in a negligence, products liability and breach of the warranty of workmanlike service action filed against it by insurer subrogees for a fire-damaged building’s owner and a tenant, the installer on Feb. 15 moved for final judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).
DENVER — A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Feb. 22 issued an order denying additional relief to a general contractor in an insurance dispute after previously vacating judgment to allow the contractor’s counterclaims to proceed and amended a December opinion and order to clarify that the grant of summary judgment for the insurer based on the determination that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the contractor related to claims based on damaged roofs “does not terminate the case.”
BISMARCK, N.D. — A commercial general liability insurer must cover the cost of repairing and replacing a floor drain that was damaged when its insured improperly installed a concrete floor, but the policy does not cover the cost of replacing the floor or an in-floor heating system installed by another subcontractor, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Feb. 18, partly affirming and partly reversing a judgment ordering the insurer to pay the property owner $214,045.55.
DES MOINES, Iowa — A contractor and its insurer on Feb. 18 stipulated to dismissal with prejudice of all claims in a federal dispute over coverage for $2 million in damages caused by faulty waterproofing at an Iowa inn and conference center after settling the matter.
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 22 entered judgment for an insurer after finding that homeowners claims in three different matters of issues with their homes were claims for construction defects and were not “occurrences” covered by the subcontractor’s commercial general liability policy.
SEATTLE — Exclusions in a contractor’s primary commercial general liability policy bar coverage for losses related to hotel construction delays and alleged water intrusion damages, and an umbrella policy does not apply, a Washington federal judge held Feb. 4, denying a project owner’s continuance motion and granting summary judgment to insurers.
SEATTLE — A commercial general liability insurer for a manufacturer of fire and explosion mitigation systems has a duty to defend its insured in an underlying action for alleged defective flame arresters, a Washington federal judge held Feb. 9, granting partial summary judgment for the insured and denying the insurer’s partial summary judgment motion.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Partly granting a motion to compel, a District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 14 ruled that while many of the documents sought by a construction firm in an insurance coverage dispute constituted legal advice subject to attorney-client privilege, some documents withheld by the defendant insurer were nonprivileged facts or had been subject to a waiver of any privilege due to being shared with parties not connected with the coverage decision.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 15 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by a builders risk insurer in a dispute over coverage for the cost of repairing fractured support beams after determining that questions of fact exist as to whether construction or design defects caused the fractures.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The insurer of a general contractor lacks standing to bring an intervening complaint against the insurers of two subcontractors that the general contractor claims used a chemically incompatible cleaner on the chlorinated polyvinyl chloride piping (CPVC) of a mixed-use building during construction, causing leaks in the building’s sprinkler suppression and fire suppression systems, because “Kentucky is not a ‘direct action’ jurisdiction,” a federal judge in the commonwealth ruled Feb. 15, granting the subcontractors’ insurers’ motion to dismiss the intervening complaint against them.
BOSTON — The manufacturer of rope lighting that allegedly caused a fire in a home cannot file a third-party complaint against the contractor that initially installed the lighting and, later, performed renovations on the property in a homeowners insurer’s negligence and breach of warranty action against it because the claims are time-barred by the statute of repose and the manufacturer failed to allege that the contractor’s later work on the home is connected to the lighting that caused the fire, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled Feb. 15.