Mealey's Construction Defects Insurance

  • September 20, 2023

    Insurer, Insureds, Amici Debate ‘Occurrence’ Requirement Before Oregon High Court

    SALEM, Ore. — A commercial general liability insurer urged the Oregon Supreme Court to affirm lower court rulings that it owed no duty to indemnify its insured contractor for damages awarded in an underlying construction defect arbitration, rejecting the homeowners’ argument that the high court should distinguish or clarify Oak Crest Construction v. Austin Mut. Ins. Co., on which the lower courts relied in finding that because that contractor’s liability arose from a breach of contract, there was no “occurrence” and, thus, no coverage for the property damage.

  • September 20, 2023

    Illinois Panel Reverses Judgment For Engineer, Finds Insurer Entitled To Subrogation

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appellate panel on Sept. 19 reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to an engineering firm in a builders risk insurer’s suit seeking subrogation damages for the flooding of a building under construction, finding that the lower court erred in finding that the insurer did not meet the prerequisites for equitable subrogation because the insurer’s right to subrogate stemmed from the insurance contract.

  • September 19, 2023

    Insurer Moves To Transfer Leaky Roof Suit After Winning Partial Summary Judgment

    AUSTIN, Texas — A week after winning partial summary judgment in a breach of contract case related to its bankrupt and deceased subcontractor insured’s responsibility for damages stemming from work on a roof, a commercial general liability insurer filed an unopposed motion to transfer a breach of contract suit against it from one federal court in Texas to another.

  • September 14, 2023

    Massachusetts Panel: Court Lacked Jurisdiction Over Insurer In Contractor’s Suit

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Appeals Court on Sept. 14 found that a lower court lacked personal jurisdiction over a commercial general liability insurer in a general contractor’s suit over its subcontractor’s faulty work, vacating the trial court’s award of summary judgment to the insurer and remanding for entry of a new judgment dismissing the complaint.

  • September 13, 2023

    Judge Says Insurer Has No Duty To Defend In Wrongful Death Suit Against Architect

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge granted an insurer’s request for declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured architect in a wrongful death suit filed against the architect by the family of a man who died while working on a construction project, finding that the architect “made material misrepresentations on the policy application that voided the policy under the rescission doctrine.”

  • September 08, 2023

    Builders Risk Insurer’s JMOL, New Trial Motions Denied; $7.62M Judgment Entered

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado denied a builders risk insurer’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) and motion for a new trial following a jury’s award of $2.54 million in breach of contract damages to its condominium developer insured, rejecting the insurer’s arguments that the developer failed to prove that it suffered “resulting loss” damages and that the jury rendered an inconsistent verdict.

  • September 08, 2023

    Insurer: All-Sums Applies In Case To Recoup Costs To Settle Roof Repair Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — An insurer seeking to recover costs it paid to settle a roof repair and water damage suit tells the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that another insurer’s opposition to paying the costs fails to address an applicable all-sums approach requiring full payment up to policy limits for covered damages.

  • September 07, 2023

    Insurer’s Motion To Dismiss Third-Party Claims Under Direct Action Statute Denied

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Finding it “plausible that the $4 million aggregate limit may yet apply” to damages resulting from a sprinkler leak, a federal judge in Louisiana denied a commercial general liability insurer’s motion to dismiss third-party complaints filed against it under the state’s direct action statute seeking to recover for the alleged negligence of a general contractor and subcontractors.

  • September 07, 2023

    Stay Of Judgment Denied After Insurer Appeals Judgment In Property Damage Dispute

    MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama has denied an insurer’s motion for stay of execution without bond of a judgment issued in the wake of a nearly $170,000 verdict against it in an insurance dispute over the handling of a property damage claim after Hurricane Sally pending its appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • September 07, 2023

    Insurer Seeks Reconsideration Of Ruling Finding It Has Duty To Defend Builder

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge in Texas erred in determining that a commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend in a coverage dispute over a homebuilder’s alleged failure to disclose to homebuyers that a home it built was subject to flooding because it didn’t give the insurer the opportunity to respond before ruling in favor of the builder, which had not sought such a ruling, the insurer argues in seeking reconsideration.

  • September 07, 2023

    Insurer’s Subrogation Suit Against Contractor And Fireplace Installer Dismissed

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut has dismissed with prejudice an insurer’s suit seeking reimbursement from a contractor and the installer of a fireplace for a fire that damaged an insured home after the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal.

  • September 01, 2023

    Homeowners Insurer Failed To Show Negligent Installation Cause Of Water Damage

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge denied a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over water damage in an insured’s home because the insurer failed to show that the parties who installed and serviced a water supply line were negligent in their work and caused the failure of the water supply line.

  • September 01, 2023

    Contractor’s Insurer Appeals Denial Of New Trial In Coverage Suit To 5th Circuit

    NEW ORLEANS — A contractor’s commercial general liability insurer has appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a ruling by federal judge in Louisiana denying its motion for a new trial or reconsideration of his April ruling dismissing its suit against a subcontractor’s insurer to recover damages the contractor’s insurer paid stemming from water damage caused by the subcontractor’s negligence in performing work on a home’s roof.

  • August 31, 2023

    Insurer Appeals Judgment After Verdict On Property Damage Dispute To 11th Circuit

    MOBILE, Ala. — An insured has appealed to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the judgment issued in the wake of a nearly $170,000 verdict against it in an insurance dispute over the handling of a property damage claim after Hurricane Sally and moved a federal court in Alabama to stay execution of the judgment pending appeal.

  • August 30, 2023

    Insurer’s Motion For Default Judgment Against Stucco Installer Insured Granted

    TAMPA, Fla. — Noting the lack of any objection, a federal judge in Florida on Aug. 29 adopted the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge and granted a surplus lines commercial liability insurer’s motion for entry of a default judgment against its stucco installer insured because the policy’s “Condominium, Townhome, Tract or Track Exclusion bars coverage for property damage arising out of ‘construction of, or work performed on’ the ‘original construction of a . . . tract or track home.’”

  • August 25, 2023

    Contractor Appeals Rulings In Faulty Work Coverage Suit To 11th Circuit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A contractor has appealed to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a Florida federal court’s rulings granting summary judgment to its commercial general liability insurer, denying summary judgment to the contractor on its counterclaim for reformation and dismissing the claim and awarding the insurer final judgment in the insurer’s declaratory judgment suit stemming from a subcontractor’s alleged faulty installation of cladding and glazing systems in a construction project.

  • August 25, 2023

    Insurer, Paver Settle Faulty Asphalt Installation Coverage Suit

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A paving company and its insurer have stipulated in Connecticut federal court to the dismissal of the insured’s declaratory judgment suit against the insurer relating to coverage for an underlying construction defects lawsuit stemming from the insured’s allegedly faulty paving work in a parking lot after reaching a settlement.

  • August 25, 2023

    Washington Panel Affirms Ruling For Insurer In Shower Leak Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE — A homeowners insurer provided sufficient evidence that rot damage from a leaking shower was caused by construction defects and, therefore, not covered, a Washington appellate panel found in affirming a trial court’s summary judgment ruling and findings of fact and conclusions of law following a bench trial.

  • August 22, 2023

    Mold Exclusion Bars Coverage For Negligence Suit Filed Against Plumber, Judge Says

    TAMPA, Fla. — An insurer has no duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit alleging that the insured’s negligence in performing plumbing services caused a water leak that resulted in mold growth in the underlying plaintiff’s home because a mold exclusion in the insurer’s policies clearly bars coverage for the underlying suit, a Florida federal judge said.

  • August 22, 2023

    Rescission Row Stayed Pending Resolution Of Underlying Suit Against Contractor

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted a painting contractor’s motion for a stay in an insurer’s suit against the contractor seeking rescission of the contractor’s insurance policy and a declaratory judgment that it is not required to provide coverage to the contractor in an underlying breach of contract case, finding that a stay pending resolution of the underlying case is warranted in part due to the overlap between the cases such that issuing a stay “increases judicial efficiency.”

  • August 21, 2023

    Judge Orders Insurer To Join Contractor, Subcontractor To Declaratory Suit

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 18 ordered a commercial general liability insurer to join a general contractor and a subcontractor to its declaratory action against the subcontractor’s CGL insurers related to the defense and indemnification of the general contractor in an underlying construction defects suit, agreeing with a magistrate judge that they are indispensable parties and should be joined to the action.

  • August 21, 2023

    Stucco Subcontractor Appeals Faulty Workmanship Coverage Ruling To 3rd Circuit

    PHILADELPHIA — An insured stucco subcontractor has appealed to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a ruling by a Pennsylvania federal judge granting judgment on the pleadings to two insurers that sought a declaration that they do not have to defend the insured against underlying litigation over water damage to homes in a residential community because the damages are alleged to have been caused by faulty workmanship and not an “occurrence.”

  • August 21, 2023

    Parties In Roof Collapse Coverage Suit Agree To Dismissal After Reaching Settlement

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The parties in a coverage dispute over a roof collapse that occurred at a vehicle manufacturer’s assembly plant during a re-roofing project have stipulated to the dismissal of the suit with prejudice after reaching a settlement.

  • August 17, 2023

    Subcontractor, Insurer Precluded From Mentioning Alternative Insurance Sources

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — Less than a month after denying summary judgment to a subcontractor’s commercial general liability insurer in a general contractor’s breach of contract and negligence suit stemming from the subcontractor’s allegedly faulty work, a federal judge in Louisiana granted the general contractor’s motion to exclude any mention of potential alternative sources of insurance during the trial, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 18.

  • August 15, 2023

    All-Risk Policies Provide Coverage For Wind-Driven Rain, Federal Judge Says

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge granted an insured condominium association’s motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over millions of dollars of hidden water damage sustained by the association’s buildings by wind-driven rain after determining that coverage is owed under two sets of policies for wind-driven rain when interpreting the policies’ language based on an ensuing loss provision and the efficient proximate rule.