RENO, Nev. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend insureds against negligence, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and trespass claims regarding improper construction work and dumping, a Nevada federal judge ruled April 13, also dismissing the insureds' bad faith counterclaim (Benchmark Insurance Co. v. G.L. Construction Co., et al., No. 14-00326, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48322).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 7 rejected an appeal filed by property owners in relation to a note of obligation, affirming a court's decision that denied their request to file an amended complaint (James J. Rowe, et al. v. Aurora Commercial Corp., No. 14-1906, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5558).
SAN ANTONIO - A federal judge in Texas granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured has failed to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying the insured's claim for damages under a commercial crime insurance policy (Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 13-931, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45168).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured against a $700,000 judgment awarded to homeowners for the insured's alleged breach of contract and breach of implied warranty with regard to the construction of their home, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 7 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Howard Snider, et al., No. 14-10906, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5550).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend an insured against a construction defects lawsuit, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 7; however, the panel reversed an award of damages for the brick, tiles and mud base and remanded for a new determination of damages to be awarded (Hugh A. Carithers and Katherine S. Carithers v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 14-11639, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5540).
FRESNO, Calif. - Commercial general liability insurers fail to assert any claims for breach of the cooperation clause of the insurance agreement or for equitable reimbursement, a California federal magistrate judge held April 3, granting the dismissal of claims against additional insureds regarding a defense in an underlying construction defects case (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-01388, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44340).
MOBILE, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured against two underlying construction defect lawsuits, an Alabama federal judge ruled April 1, granting default judgment in favor of the insurer (Essex Insurance Co. v. J & J Masonry LLC, et al., No. 14-2138, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42336).
JACKSON, Miss. - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured for underlying claims arising out of water damage caused by the insured's failure to properly cover a roof it was replacing because the policy specifically excludes coverage for damages caused by rain, a Mississippi federal judge said March 30 (Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Co. f/k/a Montpelier U.S. Insurance Co. v. LJA Commercial Solutions LLC, et al., No. 13-29, S.D. Miss.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40596).
DETROIT - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether improper installation of adhesive that led to building defects constitutes an "occurrence" and "property damage" arising under a commercial general liability insurance policy's coverage period, a Michigan federal judge ruled March 30, denying summary judgment to the insurer (Les Stanford Cadillac Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 12-15630, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40063).
NEW CASTLE, Del. - Allegations of an insured's defective workmanship do not constitute an "occurrence" triggering a commercial general liability insurer's duty to defend or indemnify, a Delaware judge ruled March 30 (Westfield Insurance Company Inc. v. Miranda & Hardt Contracting and Building Services LLC, No. N14C-06-214 ALR, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 160).
MINNEAPOLIS - There were two lots of an insured's products and, thus, two "occurrences" for purposes of coverage under commercial general liability insurance policies, a Minnesota federal judge ruled March 23, finding that the insured received notice of the underlying property damage during the 1999-2000 policy period (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA and American Home Assurance Co. v. Donaldson Company Inc. and Federal Insurance Co., No. 10-4948, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35499).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 18 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a nonprofit management and organization liability insurer on a commercial general liability insurer's claims for declaratory judgment, equitable contribution, equitable subrogation and unjust enrichment in a coverage dispute arising from the defense of a mutual insured (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 14-1837, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4330).
CHICAGO - In a lawsuit over coverage for property damage claims, a written agreement between a contractor and a subcontractor did not require the subcontractor to name the contractor as an additional insured on a commercial general liability insurance policy, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed March 16 (West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Athens Construction Company Inc., No. 1-14-0006, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 172).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A majority of the Ohio Supreme Court on March 12 found that a commercial general liability insurance policy exclusion bars coverage for a carpenter's employer intentional torts claims against his employers arising from his 14-foot fall from a ladder-jack scaffold (Hoyle; The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. DTJ Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 2013-1405, Ohio Sup.; 2015 Ohio LEXIS 595).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 affirmed that the attorney general of West Virginia's claim that drug distributor insureds did not implement adequate controls and systems to identify and alert regulatory authorities to suspicious prescription drug orders triggered the possibility of coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. JM Smith Corp., et al., No. 13-2451, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3989).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend against allegations based upon costs to repair an insured's defective workmanship, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 12, also finding that the insurer did not act in bad faith (Valley Fire Protection Systems LLC v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., No. 14-7839, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30609).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A condominium association and insureds may amend their complaint to specify what parts of commercial general liability insurance policies they seek to reform and to elaborate on the facts supporting their reformation claim, specifically how the insurer acted inequitably, a South Carolina federal judge ruled March 12 (East Bridge Lofts Property Owners Association Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-2567, D. S.C.).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend an additional insured in an underlying construction defects case over property damage caused by work done at a hotel, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 11 (Old Republic Insurance Co. v. Leopardo Companies Inc., et al., No. 14-02421, N.D. Ill.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 rejected a commercial general liability insurer's attempt to pursue in federal district court an "end-run around" binding California litigation, noting that the insurer could have participated in the state court lawsuit but chose not to until it was too late (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. LIM And Nascimento Engineering Corporation Inc., No. 13-55539, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3726).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals panel on March 9 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurance policy's intellectual property exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured used the name and likeness of a designer, author and inventor to market its products without permission from the insured's estate (Alterra Excess and Surplus Insurance Co. v. Estate of Buckminster Fuller, No. A140453, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 216).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 5 granted a commercial general liability insurer's motion to transfer an insured's declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for a trademark infringement claim to a federal Texas court (Shanze Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Baja Auto Insurance v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., No. 2:14-cv-02623-KJM-AC, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27877).