- Volume 15, Issue #5
- Kentucky High Court: Faulty Workmanship Is Not An Occurrence
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Supreme Court held April 26 that courts must use the doctrine of fortuity to determine whether an event constitutes an accident that triggers coverage under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy and found that an appeals court panel properly applied its ruling in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Motorist Mitt. Ins. Co. to find that a contractor's faulty workmanship did not constitute an occurrence that warranted coverage (Martin/Elias Properties LLC v. Acuity Mutual Insurance Company, No. 2016-SC-0000195-DG, Ky. Sup., 2018 Ky. LEXIS 188).
- Judge Limits Liberty Mutual's Defenses Against Window Maker's Bad Faith Suit
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 18 granted in part motions for partial summary judgment filed by a window and door manufacturer seeking recovery of $3 million it paid to resolve five defects lawsuits in Alabama state court, finding that its insurer, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., could not raise defenses of res judicata, contributory bad faith, comparative bad faith and mitigation (MI Windows & Doors LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-cv-3139-T-23MAP, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83918).
- Judge Says No Bad Faith By Insurer In Denial Of Entire Roof's Replacement
CINCINNATI - A homeowners insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in refusing to replace an entire roof of its insureds' home, which suffered damages during a storm, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 7, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Tracy Avery, et al. v. Erie Insurance Co., No. 17-562, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76351).
- Judge: Exclusions Do Not Apply To Bar Man's Bad Faith, Contract Claims
PITTSBURGH - An insurance company's request for summary judgment on a man's claims for breach of contract and bad faith was denied by a federal judge in Pennsylvania May 11 after the judge found that exclusions in the man's commercial line policy were inapplicable and the claim adjuster did not know Pennsylvania law when denying the claim (Jim Burgunder v. United Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-1295, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79477).
- Judge: 8 Insurers Owe No Reimbursement For Faulty Windows Settlement
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Eight insurers under 27 insurance policies owe no reimbursement to an aluminum products manufacturer against costs from an underlying settlement over the sale of faulty windows, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 1, finding that the policies do not cover damages caused by the insured's intentional conduct (Sapa Extrusions Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2827, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73162).
- Subrogated Insurer Seeks Reimbursement For Faulty Installation Of Solar Panels
WILMINGTON, Del. - In a May 4 complaint filed in a Delaware court, a subrogated homeowners insurer seeks reimbursement of $65,300.83 paid to insureds for property damage caused by defective installation of a solar panel system (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. KW Solar Solutions Inc., et al., No. N18C-05, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
- Federal Magistrate Judge Says Surety Is Entitled To Reimbursement For Paid Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on May 15 determined than a surety is entitled to reimbursement of more than $4 million for claims it paid on behalf of a construction company that contracted with the government on a number of construction projects (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. K.O.O. Construction Inc., et al., No. 16-518, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81914).
- Condominium Conversion Exclusion Does Not Apply To Bar Coverage, Judge Rules
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on May 16 dismissed an insurance company's declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking an order stating that it has no duty to defend an elevator services company for an accident that occurred while an apartment building was being converted into condominiums, holding that a condominium conversion exclusion in a policy between the parties was ambiguous (Admiral Insurance Company v. Keystone Elevator Service & Modernization LLC, et al., No. 17-11524-LTS, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82156).
- Judge Refuses To Dismiss Counterclaim Against Insurer In Construction Defect Dispute
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on May 4 declined to dismiss a counterclaim against a commercial general liability insurer seeking a declaration on coverage for an underlying construction defect lawsuit (American Southern Insurance Co. v. Affordable Home Improvements, et al., No. 17-02366, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75524).
- Magistrate Judge Denies Extension On Deadlines In Defects Insurance Coverage Case
ORLANDO, Fla. - In an insurance coverage dispute for a construction defects case, a Florida federal magistrate judge on May 9 denied homeowners' request for an extension to comply with case management deadlines and for a protective order on the depositions (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Stanley Homes Inc., et al., No. 17-1512, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77841).
- Nationwide Seeks Declaration That It Owes No Coverage To Railing Installer
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. says in a May 4 lawsuit filed in South Carolina federal court that it should not be required to provide coverage to a railing subcontractor that is a named defendant in a construction defects lawsuit, arguing that it doubts that the damages in the defects suit are for property damage caused by an occurrence (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Floyd Stanley Jr., et al., No. 18-cv-01232-MBS, D. S.C.).
- Judge Denies Insured's Motion For Attorney Fees In Product Defect Suit
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on May 16 denied an insured's motion to alter a judgment in a products liability suit to include payment of $1.5 million in attorney fees and expenses because the insurer's duty to defend ended when the underlying claim was settled on the insured's behalf (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, et al. v. Donaldson Company Inc., No. 10-4948, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82484).
- Federal Magistrate Judge: Insurance Policy Covers Church's Ceiling Collapse
BOSTON - A church's loss when its ceiling fell is covered by the collapse coverage part of an insurance policy, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge ruled May 10, finding that "faulty construction" and "wear and tear" exclusions do not apply (Easthampton Congregational Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-30061, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78777).
- No Coverage Owed Under Collapse Provisions, 9th Circuit Panel Affirms
SEATTLE - A district court did not err in finding that an insurer owes no coverage for damage to apartments from hidden decay under its policies' "collapse" provisions because the damage has not rendered the apartment building unfit or unsafe for occupancy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 9 (American Economy Insurance Co. v. CHL LLC, No. 16-35606, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12159).
- No Coverage Owed For Deterioration Of Insureds' Basement Foundation Walls
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - No coverage is afforded for insureds' claims arising out of the cracking and deterioration of their home's basement walls as a result of a chemical reaction in the foundation's concrete because the policy's collapse provision provides coverage only for abrupt collapses, a Connecticut federal judge said May 2 in granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (John Enderle, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-1510, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74186).