ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An insurer had no duty to provide a defense for a mutual insured in a construction defects case, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 11, finding that claims for faulty workmanship do not constitute a covered “occurrence” (Union Insurance Co. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 17-2674, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154359).
SEATTLE — Coverage for damages caused by the collapse of a home’s retaining wall are precluded under a homeowners insurance policy’s water exclusion, a Washington federal judge ruled Sept. 7; however, the judge declined to grant summary judgment to the insurer on claims for bad faith and violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA) (Stephen Jones, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 17-1058, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153102).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that an insurer has no duty to provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that its plastics company insured manufactured a faulty laminate (Berry Plastics Corp. v. Illinois National Insurance Co., No. 17-1815, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25576).
DETROIT — A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify liquidated damages or damages arising from a professional negligence claim, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 6, upholding summary disposition to the insurer (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Jenkins Construction Inc., et al., No. 337968, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 3109).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal magistrate judge on Sept. 7 recommended denying an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer has a duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit seeking damages as a result of mold and water damages caused by the insured’s negligent installation of windows because the damages occurred during the policy periods at issue (National Builders Insurance Co. v. RQ Building Products Inc. et al., No. 17-61474, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153900).
ATLANTA — Having previously held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify claims that an insufficient inspection failed to discover defective conditions prior to a home sale, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 6 affirmed the denial of homeowners’ motion for relief from final judgment in their coverage dispute with the insurer (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ralph Gage Contracting Inc., et al., No. 18-10401, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25309).
HARTFORD, Conn. — In a dispute over insureds’ damages from cracking in their basement walls from the use of defective concrete, a Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 5 granted summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Kenneth T. Courteau, et al. v. Teachers Insurance Co., No. 16-00580, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150784).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A subrogated insurer failed to prove negligence because it did not disclose any experts to prove duty, breach and causation, a Connecticut federal judge ruled Sept. 4, granting summary judgment to a contractor (Great Northern Insurance Co. v. 5K Development LLC v. DiFulvio Construction LLC, No. 16-01359, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150298).
BOSTON — Insurance policies do not provide defense and indemnity coverage for third-party claims for defective workmanship and dishonest acts, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Sept. 4, granting summary judgment to an insurer (689 Charles River v. American Zurich Insurance Co., No. 18-10118, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149798).
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 17 issued a take-nothing judgment against insurers and an independent insurance broker in a construction defects coverage dispute after issuing three rulings that a hotel franchisee failed to sufficiently allege that the broker is liable for any conduct established in any section of the Texas Insurance Code and failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the insurers (Spih Tyler, LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1292, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139605).
NEW ORLEANS — In light of a recent Texas high court decision, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 29 reversed a lower court’s denial of a contractor’s claim for extracontractual damages but affirmed a ruling that a subcontractor’s insurer had a duty to defend the contractor as an additional insured in a construction defects lawsuit (Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc. v. Oklahoma Surety Co., No. 16-20195, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24568).
SAN ANTONIO — An insurer has a duty to defend a contractor against allegations arising from cracking in a swimming pool, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 15, finding that a breach of contract exclusion does not apply (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Slay Engineering/Texas Multi-Chem/Huser Construction, No. 18-00252, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139353).
SAN FRANCISCO — A “damage to your work” exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for an insured’s stucco work itself but not the damage to surface paint, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 21 (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Kinsale Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00071, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142073).
BATON ROUGE, La.— After finding that a contractor’s claim for delayed damages against a construction company and insurer was untimely under the terms of a contract for the construction of an elementary school, a Louisiana appeals court on Aug. 20 affirmed a trial court’s decision dismissing its claim (St. Tammany Parish School Board v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 2017-1254, La. App., 1st Cir., 2018 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 231).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An excess insurer claims in a complaint filed in Virginia federal court on Aug. 15 that no coverage is owed to its insured, Lumber Liquidators Inc., for underlying lawsuits alleging injuries as a result of toxic levels of formaldehyde in the insured’s laminate flooring (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc. et al., No. 18-2820, E.D. Va.).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 12 denied an insurer’s request for relief from orders finding that the insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify 16 construction defect cases and must pay $488,233 in contribution to defending insurers (Assurance Company of America, et al. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 13-2191, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136463).
MINNEAPOLIS — An architecture firm is entitled to $361,923.25, plus prejudgment interest of $57,671.16, from its insurer for the insurer’s breach of its duty to defend the architecture firm from a lawsuit arising from construction defects that resulted from a subcontractor’s negligence, a Minnesota federal judge held Aug. 13 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Miller Architects & Builders Inc., No. 17-400, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136237).
CHICAGO — An insurer has no duty to defend because allegations of an insured’s knowing and intentional conduct in providing noncompliant lumber to construction projects do not constitute an “occurrence,” an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 10 (Lexington Insurance Co. v. Chicago Flameproof & Wood Specialties Corp., et al., No. 17-3513, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135871).
SEATTLE — An ongoing operations exclusion precludes coverage for water damage caused by an insured, a Washington federal judge ruled Aug. 13, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Diamond Construction LLC and Bellevue Park Homeowners Association v. Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-1408, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136335).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An insurer filed a declaratory judgment action on Aug. 10 in an Oregon federal court, regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an insured and others in a construction defects case (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Oakmont LLC, et al., No. 18-01484, D. Ore.).