TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on May 25 reversed a trial court's ruling barring a portion of an expert witness's testimony in a defective stucco and water damage coverage suit after determining that the trial court precluded testimony about the damage to a number of homes that the witness should not be prohibited from providing (Bob Meyer Communities Inc., v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. et al., No. A-2171-17T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1227).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on May 18 granted in part motions for partial summary judgment filed by a window and door manufacturer seeking recovery of $3 million it paid to resolve five defects lawsuits in Alabama state court, finding that its insurer, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., could not raise defenses of res judicata, contributory bad faith, comparative bad faith and mitigation (MI Windows & Doors LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-cv-3139-T-23MAP, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83918).
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on May 16 denied an insured’s motion to alter a judgment in a products liability suit to include payment of $1.5 million in attorney fees and expenses because the insurer’s duty to defend ended when the underlying claim was settled on the insured’s behalf (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, et al. v. Donaldson Company Inc., No. 10-4948, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82484).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court held April 26 that courts must use the doctrine of fortuity to determine whether an event constitutes an accident that triggers coverage under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy and found that an appeals court panel properly applied its ruling in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Motorist Mitt. Ins. Co. to find that a contractor’s faulty workmanship did not constitute an occurrence that warranted coverage (Martin/Elias Properties LLC v. Acuity Mutual Insurance Company, No. 2016-SC-0000195-DG, Ky. Sup., 2018 Ky. LEXIS 188).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge on May 15 determined than a surety is entitled to reimbursement of more than $4 million for claims it paid on behalf of a construction company that contracted with the government on a number of construction projects (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. K.O.O. Construction Inc., et al., No. 16-518, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81914).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. says in a May 4 lawsuit filed in South Carolina federal court that it should not be required to provide coverage to a railing subcontractor that is a named defendant in a construction defects lawsuit, arguing that it doubts that the damages in the defects suit are for property damage caused by an occurrence (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Floyd Stanley Jr., et al., No. 18-cv-01232-MBS, D. S.C.).
BOSTON — A church’s loss when its ceiling fell is covered by the collapse coverage part of an insurance policy, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge ruled May 10, finding that “faulty construction” and “wear and tear” exclusions do not apply (Easthampton Congregational Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-30061, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78777).
SEATTLE — A district court did not err in finding that an insurer owes no coverage for damage to apartments from hidden decay under its policies’ “collapse” provisions because the damage has not rendered the apartment building unfit or unsafe for occupancy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 9 (American Economy Insurance Co. v. CHL LLC, No. 16-35606, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12159).
ORLANDO, Fla. — In an insurance coverage dispute for a construction defects case, a Florida federal magistrate judge on May 9 denied homeowners’ request for an extension to comply with case management deadlines and for a protective order on the depositions (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Stanley Homes Inc., et al., No. 17-1512, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77841).
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a May 4 complaint filed in a Delaware court, a subrogated homeowners insurer seeks reimbursement of $65,300.83 paid to insureds for property damage caused by defective installation of a solar panel system (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. KW Solar Solutions Inc., et al., No. N18C-05, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
CINCINNATI — A homeowners insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in refusing to replace an entire roof of its insureds’ home, which suffered damages during a storm, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 7, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Tracy Avery, et al. v. Erie Insurance Co., No. 17-562, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76351).
FLORENCE, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on May 4 declined to dismiss a counterclaim against a commercial general liability insurer seeking a declaration on coverage for an underlying construction defect lawsuit (American Southern Insurance Co. v. Affordable Home Improvements, et al., No. 17-02366, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75524).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Eight insurers under 27 insurance policies owe no reimbursement to an aluminum products manufacturer against costs from an underlying settlement over the sale of faulty windows, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 1, finding that the policies do not cover damages caused by the insured’s intentional conduct (Sapa Extrusions Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2827, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73162).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — No coverage is afforded for insureds’ claims arising out of the cracking and deterioration of their home’s basement walls as a result of a chemical reaction in the foundation’s concrete because the policy’s collapse provision provides coverage only for abrupt collapses, a Connecticut federal judge said May 2 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (John Enderle, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-1510, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74186).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on April 30 refused to alter or amend his ruling dismissing a breach of contract claim against an insured for its alleged failure to pay per-occurrence deductibles that would have offset an amount an insurer paid to settle underlying water damage claims filed by townhome owners and an association (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Greater Midwest Builders Ltd., et al., No. 17-2561, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71857).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on April 30 certified to the state high court a question that asks what constitutes a “substantial impairment of structural integrity” such that the policy’s collapse provision would apply to the loss (Steven Karas, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 13-1836, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71844).
PHILADELPHIA — There are genuine issues of material fact as to whether a homeowners insurance policy covered a collapse, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge held April 26, noting that there is competing testimony on whether the collapse was caused by improper construction or long-term deterioration (Jocelyn Desvarieux, et al. v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-2564, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71230).
MIAMI — In a coverage dispute over the installation of Chinese drywall, a subcontractor failed to establish that an excess insurer has a duty to indemnify it for its damages, a Florida federal judge ruled April 25, granting summary judgment to the excess insurer on claims for declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith (Peninsula II Developers Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 09-23691, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69479).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on April 24 granted an insurer’s motion for temporary relief to stay a coverage lawsuit over the installation of defective heating ventilation and air conditioning units pending its ruling on the 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 (In re Union Insurance Co., No. 18-0353, Texas Sup.).
LAS VEGAS — A primary insurer and an excess insurer failed to demonstrate the number of proximate causes and the number of occurrences regarding coverage of a construction defects case against their mutual insured, a Nevada federal judge ruled April 18 (AIG Specialty Insurance Co. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-01260, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65198).