Mealey's Construction Defects Insurance

  • December 14, 2021

    Insured Not Entitled To Documents From Consultant Hired By Builder’s Risk Insurer

    DENVER — A Colorado federal court special master assigned to a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of a construction defects claim on Dec. 9 affirmed a ruling that an insured is not entitled to discovery of documents produced by a consulting expert hired by the builders risk insurer because the expert was retained in anticipation of litigation and there is no evidence that the insurer relied on any work by the consultant before it denied the insured’s claim for damage to a concrete slab at a condominium project.

  • December 14, 2021

    Environmental Liability Insurer Has Duty To Defend Developers, Judge Says

    HONOLULU — An environmental liability insurer has a duty to defend insured developers for water damages in condominium units caused by pump lines in the air conditioning system that were clogged with algae because the developers met their burden of showing that a possibility of coverage exists for a pollution incident under the policy, a Hawaii judge said Nov. 4.

  • December 13, 2021

    Federal Judge Denies Insurer’s Motion To Intervene In Construction Defects Suit

    PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine federal judge on Nov. 29 denied a homeowners insurer’s motion to intervene as a subrogee in the homeowners’ suit against contractors and subcontractors related to faulty windows in the construction of a new home that resulted in water damage, finding that the insurer’s motion was untimely and the “lack of diligence in pursuing intervention makes it inequitable to permit” intervention after the parties voluntarily dismissed their claims.

  • December 10, 2021

    Insured Seeks Judgment, Citing Policy Exclusions, Contractor’s Misrepresentations

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An insurer on Dec. 8 urged a federal court in Tennessee to award it 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, arguing that the contractor provided incorrect information in his application for a commercial general liability insurance policy and that the “unambiguous” language of the policy precludes coverage.

  • December 03, 2021

    Judge Approves Settlement Between Receiver, Insurer In Surfside Collapse Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida judge on Dec. 1 granted a joint motion to approve a confidential settlement between the receiver for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association and an insurer in a negligence lawsuit arising from the Surfside, Fla., condominium collapse.

  • December 02, 2021

    Trial Gets Under Way In Coverage Case Over Faulty Windows, Doors

    DENVER — Jury selection was completed and opening statements were given Nov. 29 in a trial to determine whether an insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify underlying claims alleging that a glass subcontractor installed faulty doors and windows at a condominium complex.

  • December 02, 2021

    Judge Finds Insurer Has No Duty To Contractor In Defective Grading Suit

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend a contractor in a suit alleging defects in landscaping and construction work because the claims are excluded by the contractual liability and “your work” exclusions in the policy, a federal judge in South Carolina found Nov. 29, granting the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.

  • December 02, 2021

    Insurer, Homebuilders Settle Dispute Over Coverage For 17 Construction Defect Suits

    PHOENIX — An insurer sued by multiple homebuilders seeking coverage for 17 underlying construction defects lawsuits informed a federal court in Arizona on Nov. 29 that the parties have settled all claims in the matter; the same day, the judge overseeing the dispute ordered that the suit be dismissed with prejudice on Dec. 29 and vacated jury trials set for January and March.

  • December 02, 2021

    Insurer Obligated To Reimburse Fees, Insureds Tell New York Federal Judge

    NEW YORK — Three plaintiffs in a Nov. 29 brief defend their request for $232,422.99 in attorney fees in a New York federal dispute over what they call a “malicious” decision by their insurer to discontinue coverage in a construction defects lawsuit over balconies at a 42-story condominium.

  • December 01, 2021

    Insurer Objects To Subcontractor’s Fee Request In Construction Defects Case

    PORTLAND, Ore. — A subcontractor disregards orders issued by an Oregon federal court and contradicts its argument that its insurer’s claims against it in a dispute over coverage for construction defects in an apartment complex “always lacked an objectively reasonable basis,” the insurer argues in a Nov. 22 brief opposing the subcontractor’s request for $197,785 in attorney fees and $17,375.14 in costs.

  • November 30, 2021

    Magistrate Quashes Subpoena For Privileged Communications In Defects Coverage Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A condominium association failed to establish the necessity of obtaining a contractor’s communications with its attorneys, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge ruled  Nov. 23, granting a law firm’s motion to quash a subpoena seeking communications related to the settlement of construction defects claims against the contractor.

  • November 29, 2021

    In Iowa Water Damage Indemnification Row, Cross-Motions Denied

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A dispute between an insurer and an insured over coverage for $2 million in damages caused by faulty waterproofing at a Sioux City, Iowa, inn and conference center will proceed, a federal judge in the state ruled Nov. 5.

  • November 24, 2021

    Insurer Again Seeks Dismissal Of Contract Breach Claim In Construction Defects Row

    LOS ANGELES — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an insurer in a construction defects coverage suit on Nov. 19 urged a federal court in California to once again dismiss a breach of contract claim filed against it by another insurer as the assignee of an insured subcontractor, arguing that the subcontractor is not a named insured under the policy in question.

  • November 19, 2021

    Federal Judge: ‘Shotgun Pleading’ Must Be Repleaded In Construction Defect Suit

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on Nov. 3 granted in part and denied in part a commercial insurer’s motion to strike and to dismiss a general contractor’s cross-claim and counterclaim after finding that the general contractor’s cross-claim and counterclaim are “a shotgun pleading that must be repleaded.”

  • November 19, 2021

    Federal Judge Grants Default Judgment To Insurer In Construction Defects Suit

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 3 granted a commercial insurer’s motion for default judgment in a declaratory judgment action filed by the insurer against a home builder that claimed a right to liability coverage in an underlying action, finding that the home builder is not a named insured and failed to show that “it is qualified as an additional insured.”

  • November 16, 2021

    Suit Over Duty To Defend Developers In Landslides Action Voluntarily Dismissed

    PITTSBURGH — A federal judge in Pennsylvania in a Nov. 15 text-only docket entry approved a stipulation of voluntary dismissal of an insurer’s suit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend developers in an underlying action brought by a homeowners association over landslides that occurred in 2006, 2015 and 2017.

  • November 15, 2021

    4th Circuit Affirms Lower Court’s Decision Barring Coverage For Collapse Claim

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 4  affirmed a district court’s order granting summary judgment to an insurer after finding that the policy’s design exclusion bars coverage for the insured apartment building owner’s claim related to the building’s collapse.

  • November 10, 2021

    Firm Seeks Coverage For Negligence Suits Arising From Surfside Condominium Collapse

    MIAMI — The same day an engineering firm moved for a Maryland federal court to dismiss two insurers’ lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying actions brought by victims of the June 24 partial collapse of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high-rise, it filed its own suit in a Florida court on Oct. 5 seeking a declaration as to coverage.

  • November 09, 2021

    Insurer Cannot Recover Defense Costs For Underlying Bridge Collapse Suits

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut state judge on Oct. 21 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer has no duty to reimburse another insurer for costs incurred in defending an insured contractor against underlying lawsuits arising out of the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Florida because under applicable Florida law, an insurer cannot recover costs incurred in defending a mutual insured from another insurer.

  • November 08, 2021

    Underlying Water Damage Suit Does Not Allege Occurrence; No Coverage Owed

    PHILADELPHIA — No coverage is owed for an underlying suit seeking damages for water damage caused by an insured’s installation of a drainage system because the underlying suit seeks damages for the insured’s faulty workmanship and does not allege an occurrence as required by the commercial general liability policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Nov. 3 in granting the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.