DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Aug. 9 substantially dismissed a general contractor’s counterclaims in an insurance dispute brought by its commercial general liability insurer, seeking a determination that it did not owe the contractor a duty to defend or indemnify, ruling that a majority of the counterclaims are moot or not ripe for review.
PHILADELPHIA — A commercial general liability insurer on Aug. 1 filed a notice of appeal in the Pennsylvania federal court, stating that it will appeal a July 1 opinion in which a judge ruled that insurers cannot bring claims against a contractor and subcontractor in a negligence lawsuit stemming from a property fire because the insurers are subrogees of the owners of the unit that was damaged and a homeowners association, who are subject to a valid subrogation waiver.
CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge in New Hampshire on Aug. 9 ruled that he has diversity jurisdiction over an insurer’s subrogation lawsuit against contractors, in which the insurer seeks to hold a general contractor and two subcontractors liable for damages caused by a chimney fire based on the defendants’ faulty workmanship because the insurer is the only “real party in interest and complete diversity exists between” the insurer and the defendants.
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada on Aug. 5 ruled that dismissal of counterclaims brought by a homeowners association and a painting contractor against the contractor’s commercial general liability insurer in an insurance coverage dispute is necessary because the defendants failed to sufficiently plead their claims or stated claims that are duplicative of one another.
AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas should sustain an insurer’s objection to a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that the insurer’s summary judgment motion in a coverage dispute stemming from the contractor’s alleged defective work performed in a home construction project be denied because the magistrate judge erred in relying on certain evidence of damages to walls and floors that homeowners themselves alleged were defective, the insurer argues in an Aug. 8 reply brief filed in Texas federal court.
CINCINNATI — A majority of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Aug. 3 that a commercial general liability insurer did not have a duty to pay for an underlying settlement over a defective automatic fastener because no lawsuit was ever filed against the automotive supplier insured, affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit.
DENVER — Without providing further detail, insurers in a subrogation dispute stemming from an insured contractor’s faulty construction of balconies at an apartment complex project filed a joint notice of settlement on July 11 in Colorado federal court, stating that they have agreed to settle all claims and will be filing a notice of dismissal within 30 days.
DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on July 19 administratively closed a coverage dispute stemming from The Travelers Lloyds Insurance Co.’s denial of coverage to a subcontractor for moisture and mold damages to a temporary building the subcontractor built for the U.S. government, noting that a mediator had advised the judge that the parties had agreed to settle their claims.
AUSTIN, Texas — A commercial general liability insurer filed an objection in Texas federal court on July 18, arguing that a federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute stemming from a contractor’s alleged defective work performed in a home construction project be denied was erroneous for a number of reasons.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas on July 20 granted an insurer’s motion for default judgment in a duty-to-defend lawsuit the insurer brought disputing coverage for an insured masonry subcontractor that defaulted in a contractor’s underlying state court action and issued a final judgment that the insurer owes the subcontractor no duty to defend or indemnify.
FLORENCE, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on July 28 denied a pair of motions filed by a construction company seeking reconsideration of the judge’s grant of summary judgment to commercial general liability insurers in a coverage dispute stemming from water intrusion and other construction defect issues at a mixed-use development project, ruling that the contractor failed to demonstrate either an “error of law or manifest injustice.”
BISMARCK, N.D. — A federal judge in North Dakota on July 27 ruled that a manufacturer of pole barns and the subcontractor it hired to construct a pole barn that was destroyed in a storm are not entitled to summary judgment on claims brought against them by an insurer for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty of fitness because genuine issues of material fact exist as to each claim.
AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on June 20 issued an order declining a request to stay hearings on six pending summary judgment motions filed in an insurance coverage lawsuit related to a highway construction projectwhile two of the parties work to finalize the terms of a conditional settlement agreement, ruling that no hearings have been scheduled and that “all pending motions will be carried through” an upcoming bench trial.
PHILADELPHIA — Insurers cannot bring claims against a contractor and subcontractor in a negligence lawsuit stemming from a property fire because the insurers are subrogees of the owners of the unit that was damaged and a homeowners association, who are subject to a valid subrogation waiver, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled July 1 in granting the contractor’s motion for summary judgment.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on July 26 ruled that because a subcontractor’s application of an anti-microbial solution that led to water leaks in CPVC sprinkler pipes and fittings did not constitute “painting” under the subcontractor’s commercial general liability policy, the subcontractor’s actions do not fall within the necessary business description included in the policy and “any resulting claim is not covered under the policy,” awarding two insurance defendants summary judgment.
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 11 ruled that an insurer is not entitled to partial summary judgment on its claim that it is not obligated to reimburse an insured general contractor for costs incurred in underlying arbitration proceedings stemming from the contactor’s alleged failure to properly secure a building in advance of a hurricane for costs incurred before Feb. 5, 2020, because issues of fact remain as to whether the insurer was prejudiced by the contractor’s delay in notifying it of a counterclaim filed against the contractor.
RICHMOND, Va. — Without providing detail, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 13 issued an order granting a joint motion to voluntarily dismiss cross-appeals filed by a general contractor and a general liability insurer in a declaratory judgment lawsuit in which the insurer argues that it does not owe a duty to defend or indemnify the contractor in an underlying breach of contract lawsuit stemming from a subcontractor’s allegedly faulty roofing and siding work at an apartment complex.
BATON ROUGE, La. — A defendant and third-party complainant in a lawsuit stemming from a subcontractor’s misapplication of a mold and mildew prevention product that damaged piping in an apartment construction project asked a federal judge in Louisiana on July 13 to reconsider his ruling granting third-party defendants’ motion to dismiss the third-party complaint because the judge incorrectly ruled that the complainant failed to file any opposition to the motion.
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on July 7 granted a developer’s motion for relief in a commercial general liability insurance coverage lawsuit with insurers, ruling that the developer should be provided with additional time to depose witnesses to allow the developer to properly defend its counterclaims against the insurers.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on July 15 issued an electronic order, ruling that the manufacturer of rope lighting that allegedly caused a fire in a home cannot file a third-party complaint against a company it contends actually manufactured the lighting because the defendant filed its motion more than six months after the deadline to add parties had passed and more than a year after a homeowners insurer filed its negligence and breach of warranty action against the defendant.