Reaction to the Recent Climate Change Insurance Coverage Decision by the Virginia Supreme Court

By John G. Nevius, Esq., P.E. The September 16 decision in Virginia allowing a subsidiary of Zurich to avoid its duty to defend a climate-change related claim is ironic. On the one hand, anthropogenic links to climate change are the subject of considerable political debate. As I understand it, however...

Sweet Carolina For Policyholders: Good Times Will Never Seem So Good For Construction Defect Claims

South Carolina Supreme Court Withdraws Crossmann Communities and Allows Coverage for Consequential Damages of Construction Defects - Court Adopts Time on the Risk Allocation Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP The Supreme Court of South Carolina has issued its opinion in the very closely...

Sweet Defective-Home Alabama: Supreme Court Addresses The “Occurrence” Issue

"Sub-Contractor" Exception Applies - But Not To A Sub-Contractor's Own Work Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP Last month I was in Las Vegas where I had the privilege of speaking at the CPCU Society's Annual Meeting (and paying $9 for a Diet Coke at a restaurant - Really...

Construction Defects as an ‘Occurrence’: State Legislatures Weigh In

By Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A. Guertin, Attorneys, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. In their article appearing in the November/December 2011 issue of Coverage, "Construction Defects as an 'Occurrence': State Legislatures Weigh In" by Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A....

Faulty Workmanship is Not an “Occurrence” But the Damage it Does Is an Occurrence

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant The Wisconsin Court of Appeal was called upon to resolve a dispute that arose out of damages suffered by VPP Group, LLC the grew from construction work being performed by contractors on a building owned by VPP. VPP was insured by Acuity. Acuity paid the damage...

McCarter & English LLP on New Jersey Appellate Division Opens Door to Coverage for Subcontractors' Defective Work

By Craig W. Davis and Nicholas M. Insua, Attorneys, McCarter & English, LLP A recent decision by New Jersey's Appellate Division questions the continued viability of prior New Jersey decisional law regarding whether property damage caused by faulty construction constitutes an "occurrence"...

The Grim Reaper Pays Nothing: Body Lost – Suit Follows

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan was asked to grant Defendant Netherlands Insurance Company's Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs filed suit for declaratory relief and sought coverage under a cemetery's insurance policy...

Eighth Circuit Holds Claim Against General Contractor Not an Occurrence

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Secura Ins. v. Horizon Plumbing , 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 4477 (8 th Cir. Mar. 5, 2012), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, considered whether an underlying breach...

McCarter & English on Conflicting Interpretations of “Occurrence”: Lessons From the First Climate Change Liability Insurance Case, AES Corporation v. Steadfast Insurance Company

By J. Wylie Donald, David C. Kane, and Lauren E. Ciancia, McCarter & English, LLP The recent decision in AES Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., in which the Supreme Court of Virginia found no "occurrence" in an underlying suit that alleged property damage resulted from the policyholder's...

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP On A Roadmap For Determining Coverage For Construction Defect Claims In New York

By Richard B. Friedman, J. Stephen Berry, and P. Michael Freed, Attorneys, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP In their commentary, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP on a Roadmap for Determining Coverage for Construction Defect Claims in New York , by Richard B. Friedman, J. Stephen Berry and P. Michael...

McCarter & English LLP on Travelers Property Cas. Co. of Am. v. Mericle and Colony Ins. Co. v. Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., Third Circuit Affirms Lack of Coverage for Pair of Judicial Kickback Cases

By Anne Matthews, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP Robert Mericle and Mericle Construction Company (collectively, "Mericle") along with Robert Powell and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corporation (collectively, "MAYS") were each sued in connection with a kickback scheme wherein...

McCarter & English on New Jersey Supreme Court Denies Coverage to Cemetery and Crematory for Claims Arising from Illegal Harvesting of Human Remains: Memorial Properties, LLC v. Zurich American Insurance Co.

Cynthia S. Betz, Associate, McCarter & English LLP In Memorial Properties, LLC v. Zurich American Insurance Co., 2012 N.J. LEXIS 682 (N.J. June 28, 2012) , the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division's decision that a cemetery and crematory were not entitled to insurance...

Jing on Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects: Developments in Federal & State Law

Jing on Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects: Recent Developments in Federal and State Law by Audrey J. Jing of Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP examines the current split among jurisdictions as to whether a claim for defective workmanship falls within the scope of the standard form insuring agreement...

McCarter & English on Vigilant Insurance Co. v. Sibbio: Insurer Had Duty to Defend Based on Reasonable Possibility of Coverage

By Lauren E. Ciancia, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP In Vigilant Insurance Co. v. Sibbio, 2012 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 4868 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct. 9, 2012) , the New York Supreme Court held an insurance company has a duty to defend its policyholder for underlying allegations concerning the lead-paint...

Want Coverage for Construction Related Damage? You Need an Occurrence

In reading the title to this post, you are likely thinking "Duh, of course you do, if nothing "occurs" then there is nothing to cover!" (or something to that effect). While this seems an obvious conclusion, we're talking the world of law, construction and insurance coverage where...

Traub Lieberman Insurance Law Blog: Mississippi Court Holds D&O Policy Not Triggered By Real Estate Scheme

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in State Farm Fire& Cas. Co. v. Anderson , 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57837 (S.D. Miss. Apr. 23, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the Southern...

Ohio Federal Court: Insurers’ Exposure For Construction Projects: A New Frontier?

While much debate has centered around coverage for construction defects, the parties have at least known where the claims are coming from - a structure is set out to be built, something doesn't go right and repairs need to be made. But in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., No. 11-1594...

Ala. Supreme Court: Insured Contractor’s Own Work Needing Repair or Replacement Not an “Occurrence”

By Scott C. Turner, Attorney, Anderson Kill On May 3, the Supreme Court of Alabama's issued its decision in Shane Traylor Cabinetmaker, L.L.C. v. American Resources Ins. Co., Inc. , --- So.3d ---- , 2013 Ala. LEXIS 42 (2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which maintains...

“Occurrence” Determined from Viewpoint of Insured – Intentional Act Not an “Occurrence”

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant An insurance policy must be interpreted to provide the protection the parties intended. It is not a device to protect against every possible incident and, by definition, can only insure against fortuitous events. This axiom of insurance law was enforced by the...

Connecticut Supreme Court, in a Case of First Impression, Holds Negligent Construction Insured Under General Liability Policy

In Capstone Building Corp. v. American Motorists Insurance Co. , 67 A.3d 961 (Conn. 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Connecticut considered whether allegations that a subcontractor’s unintended defective construction...

Ten Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2013 – Almost Heaven For Policyholders: West Virginia High Court Overrules Four Prior Decisions And Holds That Faulty Workmanship Is An “Occurrence” [And Two Others Do The Same]

Ordinarily I would not include in the annual insurance hit-parade a case addressing the beat-to-death issue whether faulty workmanship qualifies as an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. There are simply too many cases addressing the issue so any single new one, even...

Environmental Coverage Summary: 2013 – Environmental Cases Addressing Other Significant Issues

Other cases decided in 2013 addressed certain issues that were typical of environmental coverage actions past, present and future. These issues include choice of law, what constitutes an "occurrence," the number of occurrences, and what constitutes "damages." We summarize key decisions...

10th Circuit Certifies Late Notice and Reporting Questions to Colorado Supreme Court

In its recent decision in Craft v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co ., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2680 (Feb. 11, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, applying Colorado law, had occasion to consider whether Colorado’s notice...

I See Dead People Causing Coverage Disputes

Look, it’s not pleasant, but when you are involved in liability claims you will be forced to confront scenarios involving death. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Liability insurance claims are, by their nature, all about when things go wrong. And when things go wrong – really wrong...

A Faulty Workmanship—“Occurrence” Case Worth Reading

The title of this article tells you how I feel about the continuous barrage of decisions addressing coverage for construction defects – in particular whether faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. I’m not saying that these cases...