TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Oct. 9 that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend a contractor against a university’s lawsuit because subcontractor faulty workmanship is not fortuitous and does not meet the definition of an “occurrence” (Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 2017-0514, Ohio Sup., 2018 Ohio LEXIS 2375).
DENVER — An insurer’s contractual indemnity claim against a contractor survived dismissal; however, a Colorado federal judge held Sept. 27 that the insurer’s contribution claim is barred under a settlement release regarding damages from a collapse (Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. RStart LLC, No. 18-00478 c/w 18-00564, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166429).
MIAMI — An insurer has a duty to defend mold and water damages caused by an insured’s negligent installation of windows, a Florida federal judge held Oct. 5, adopting a magistrate’s recommendation to deny summary judgment to the insurer (National Builders Insurance Co. v. RQ Building Products Inc., et al., No. 17-61474, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172705).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 affirmed that an insured home’s foundation damage was not covered because the policy excludes coverage for a collapse that was caused by cracking based upon the use of faulty materials (Geung-Ho Kim, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-2304, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28300).
HONOLULU — A possibility of coverage for construction defect claims exists due to a revised occurrence endorsement, a Hawaii federal judge held Sept. 24, granting partial summary judgment to an insured regarding an insurer’s duty to defend but finding the duty-to-indemnify issue to be premature (Gemini Insurance Co. v. Constrx Ltd., No. 14-00355, D. Hawaii, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163453).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 3 denied a couple’s motion to remand their lawsuit seeking damages for Chinese-made drywall that was installed in their home following Hurricane Katrina, finding that they improperly joined their insurer as a defendant (Cedric Richmond, et al. v. National Gypsum Services Co., No. 17-7453, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170814).
CAMDEN, N.J. — An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured subcontractor for construction defects allegations because the policy excludes coverage for residential new construction work, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 28 (Colony Insurance Co. v. Troensa Construction Inc., et al., No. 17-03577, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167683).
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Because some damages arising out of construction defects are covered by commercial general liability insurance policies and because insurers did not effectively reserve their right to contest coverage, a South Carolina federal judge on Sept. 28 granted summary judgment to a condominium association (Stoneledge at Lake Keowee Owners Association Inc. v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-01906, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167792).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — No coverage is owed to insureds for water damage discovered in their hotel property because the policy’s exclusion for continuous water leakage precludes coverage, an Illinois federal judge said Sept. 24, noting that the evidence shows that there were years of leaks and dampness in the room where the water damage was discovered (Tracy Holdings LLC v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-3100, C.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162363).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Sept. 24 dismissed a commercial general liability insurer’s coverage dispute regarding its duty to indemnify an insured against construction defect claims because the matter is not ripe for review (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Delacruz Drywall Plastering & Stucco Inc., et al., No. 16-720, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162864).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A commercial general liability insurer’s declaratory judgment case against an insured contractor and homeowners should proceed regarding coverage for noxious gas found in a home after spray foam insulation work, a New Mexico federal magistrate judge held Sept. 20 (International Insurance Company of Hannover SE v. Connors & Sons Classy Construction LLC, et al., No. 17-0825, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161805).
HARTFORD, Conn. — No coverage is owed to a homeowner seeking coverage for the deterioration of her home’s foundation as a result of a chemical reaction in the concrete used to build the home because the damage gradually occurred over time and was not sudden and accidental as required by the policy, a Connecticut federal judge said Sept. 20 (Maureen E. Carney v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-592, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161401).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 18 denied reconsideration of his judgment in a construction defect insurance case and denied a motion by the winner for $302,214.50 in attorney fees (Assurance Co. of America, et al. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., No. 15-460, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159454).
HARTFORD, Conn. — In a coverage dispute over damages to insureds’ basement walls from cracking, a Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 18 denied summary judgment to a homeowners insurer on a breach of contract claim because the insureds’ damages fall within their reasonably proposed definition of “caving in” under the policy (Michael M. Sirois, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1172, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158508).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 17 dismissed claims for bad faith and declaratory judgment against an insurer regarding its refusal to pay for damages to basement walls; however, the insureds’ breach of contract claim survived (James T. Ainsworth, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-01139, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157886).
DENVER — No coverage is owed for water damage discovered within an exterior insulation finishing system because the damage was not sudden and accidental as required for coverage to exist under the policy, a Colorado federal magistrate judge said Sept. 13 (Mark Mock, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-2592, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156256).
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).