CHICAGO — A general contractor on Oct. 12 prevailed in part in its request to compel production of documents from an insurer and declaratory judgment plaintiff in a longstanding dispute over a judgment rendered in litigation stemming from a construction project at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Oct. 13 affirmed a district court’s ruling that an insured and a condominium association cannot maintain a bad faith claim against an excess insurer that refused to defend or indemnify the insured for a $9 million construction defects settlement because the insured and the association failed to show that they suffered any consequential damages as a result of the excess insurer’s alleged bad faith conduct.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 7 affirmed a trial court’s finding that a commercial general liability insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage for an underlying property damage suit arising out of the insured’s work at an adjacent property building because the policy’s demolition exclusion clearly applied as a bar to coverage for the underlying suit.
SAN FRANCISCO — A solar power company asserts in a complaint filed Sept. 27 in federal court in California that an insurer had a duty to defend it, as an additional insured, against lawsuits following a gas explosion because the insurer agreed to defend the company against some of the lawsuits and the lawsuits all arose from the same incident.
FLORENCE, S.C. — An insurance company says in a lawsuit filed Sept. 28 in federal court in South Carolina that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a subcontractor in a construction defects suit filed by a homeowners association against the subcontractor because the insurance policies issued to the subcontractor were not in effect during or after the completion of the project.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A property owner’s challenges to an insurer’s declaratory judgment complaint against its contractor “are not procedurally supported and do not demonstrate a lack of jurisdiction, but rather present an attempt to have this Court voluntarily dismiss or defer” the action in favor of the property owner’s underlying state court action, an insurer tells a federal court in Indiana in a Sept. 22 opposition brief.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in Calif. on Sept. 16 granted an insured subcontractor’s motion for partial summary judgment in a construction defects insurance coverage dispute, finding that the possibility that another subcontractor was responsible for the insured’s work being damaged triggered the insurer’s duty to defend despite the work-product exclusion in the insurance policy.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Sept. 22 partially granted and partially denied three motions for partial summary judgment in a consolidated dispute over a collapsed sewer line involving a Connecticut municipality, the contactor, a subcontractor, the liner makers and insurers.
DURANGO, Colo. — A federal judge in Colorado on Sept. 20 denied an insurance company’s partial motion for summary judgment against a construction company and a third party for costs related to rip-and-tear work because the claims involve the evidence and judgment from the underlying trial, therefore, are not amenable to summary disposition.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 20 ruled that an insurer owes a duty to defend and indemnify a contractor in an underlying construction defects lawsuit; however, that duty is not yet ripe for adjudication because the record in the underlying case does not reflect that resolution has taken place.
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 28 determined that a special master properly concluded that an insured seeking coverage for damage to a concrete slab at a condominium building project is permitted to depose the builders risk insurer’s attorney who was responsible for drafting the insurer’s reservation of rights letter because the attorney’s role in drafting the letter is crucial to the case.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 30 denied an insurer’s request for summary judgment on allegations that a plumber acted with negligence when installing a pot filler on an exterior wall and in failing to ensure that the pipes leading to the pot filler were adequately insulated.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida law compels a court to award attorney fees to an insured sued by its insurer where the case is fully dismissed, even if that dismissal is voluntary after the underlying complaint is altered, a federal judge in Florida ruled Sept. 30.
BATON ROUGE, La. — The insurer of a subcontractor that was named as a defendant in another insurer’s lawsuit seeking to recover settlement payments made on behalf of the general contractor for an allegedly defective apartment complex renovation was premature in bringing a duty-to-indemnify claim as the lawsuit by the general contractor’s insurer is not yet resolved, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Sept. 8.
NEW YORK — A recent recommendation by a federal magistrate judge in New York that an insurer has a duty to defend allegations in New York state court leveled against property and project management service companies for a condominium in Manhattan was adopted in full on Sept. 30 by a federal judge in New York.
SAN DIEGO — An insurer may proceed with its claims for equitable indemnity and contribution against two other insurers related to an underlying condominium construction defects case that is now over after showing that a trial court erred in sustaining demurrers, a California appellate panel ruled in a Sept. 22 unpublished opinion.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a nonprecedential ruling issued Sept. 13 in a dispute over indemnification for water damage, the Minnesota Court of Appeals said a district court judge erred in basing a grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on an analysis under Miller v. Shugart (Miller-Shugart).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware on Sept. 13 denied a homeowners’ association’s request to keep a case on an insurer’s responsibility to a builder sued by the association open out of “an abundance of caution,” finding that reasoning insufficient for constitutional standing after the judge ruled Sept. 7 that the insurer has a duty to defend its insured but that its duty to indemnify is unripe.
ATLANTA — Per Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company v. Auchter Company, post-1986 commercial general liability policies with products-completed operations hazard coverage “do not cover the costs of replacing defective products,” the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 10, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to an insurer accused of breach of contract for refusing to reimburse a general contractor for the cost of replacing a subcontractor’s faulty railings.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In an insurance coverage dispute arising out of a lawsuit by homeowners alleging defects in site preparation for and foundations of their homes, the insurer of a subcontractor owes a duty to defend the developer, but questions of fact remain regarding whether either side breached that duty and whether a duty to indemnify and limitations on coverage existed, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled Aug. 27, denying a motion to dismiss and partially granting and partially denying summary judgment motions.