AUSTIN, Texas - A commercial umbrella insurer is responsible for costs incurred to determine property damage as well as to repair it and costs to remediate the damage that began before and continued after the policy period, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Aug. 23, reversing an appeals court's judgment and reinstating a trial court's judgment (Lennar Corp., et al. v. Markel American Insurance Co., No. 11-0394, Texas Sup.; 2013 Tex. LEXIS 597).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Supreme Court on Aug. 13 affirmed a trial court's ruling that "property damage" and "advertising injury" coverage was invoked and triggered a commercial general liability insurer's duty to defend its insured against an underlying class action seeking injunctive relief and statutory damages under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), further finding that the insurer has a duty to indemnify its insured for the $5 million class action settlement (Columbia Casualty Company v. HIAR Holdings, L.L.C., et al., No. SC93026, Mo. Sup.; 2013 Mo. LEXIS 49).
HONOLULU - The Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 vacated and remanded a finding that pre-breach commercial general liability insurers and have no duty to defend their insured against one of three underlying lawsuits stemming from the breach of the Kaloko Dam on Kaua'i, Hawaii, further finding that the lower court erred in dismissing the insured's claims against its property and excess insurers (C. Brewer and Company Ltd. v. Industrial Indemnity Co., et al., No. 28958, Hawaii App.; 2013 Haw. App. LEXIS 472).
HELENA, Mont. - An underlying complaint alleging that an insured induced a claimant to come work for him under false pretenses did not assert an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy and, therefore, the insurer's duty to defend was not triggered, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Aug. 6, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Leonard Landa, et al. v. Assurance Company of America, No. DA 12-0535, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 269).
SEATTLE - A developer was an additional insured under one but not both of two commercial general liability insurance policies issued to a contractor for purposes of coverage for an underlying construction defect action that settled, a Washington federal judge ruled Aug. 6 (Madera West Condominium Association v. First Specialty Insurance Corp., No. 13-0724, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110678).
HONOLULU - A commercial general liability insurer and umbrella insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured in two construction defect cases with the sole exception of a negligent misrepresentation claim regarding the installation of a product in one of the underlying cases, a Hawaii federal judge ruled July 31 (Illinois National Insurance Co., et al. v. Nordic PLC Construction Inc., No. 11-00515, D. Hawaii; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108932).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey federal judge overseeing the insurance brokerage antitrust multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 approved a $10.5 million settlement between insurance companies and policyholders who accused the insurers of conspiring with insurance brokers in a price-fixing scheme to inflate commercial insurance prices (In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663, No. 04-5184, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108042).
JACKSON, Miss. - Because an underlying plaintiff only pleaded intentional actions by a construction company and its subcontractors, a Mississippi appeals court on July 30 unanimously affirmed a lower court's finding that there had been no "occurrence" or accident to trigger coverage under a commercial general liability policy related to the underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit (W.R. Berkley Corp., et al. v. Rea's Country Lane Construction Inc., No. 2009-CA-01223-COA, Miss. App.; 2013 Miss. App. LEXIS 464).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a subcontractor against construction defect claims arising out of roofing work because the subcontractor was not listed as a named insured on the policy, a South Carolina federal judge ruled July 31 (Catlin Specialty Insurance Co. v. Scott McPherson, et al., No. 12-2785, D. S.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106993).
MACON, Ga. - Insurers would not have issued commercial general liability and workers' compensation insurance policies under their underwriting guidelines if they had known that an Internet cafe insured participated in sweepstakes games, a Georgia federal judge ruled July 23, granting the insurers' motion for summary judgment in their rescission lawsuit (Sentinel Insurance Company Ltd., et al. v. Action Stop LLC, et al., No. 5:11-CV-488 $(CAR$), M.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102534).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The "your work" exclusion under a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for damage caused by an insured's faulty workmanship, a Tennessee federal judge ruled July 18 (Builders Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clayton Pickens, et al., No. 13-00022, E.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101410).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insured has failed to demonstrate that the claims made against it in an underlying multidistrict litigation trigger its commercial general liability insurance policy's "advertising injury" provisions, a California federal judge ruled July 19, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over an alleged price-fixing conspiracy involving flat panels incorporated into electronic products (Epson Electronics America Inc. v. Tokio Marine and Nachido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd, etc., No. C 12-4592 RS, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101430).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not provide coverage for a brick face that was damaged by improper cleaning by a subcontractor after the insured who hired the subcontractor completed its installation, the South Carolina Supreme Court held July 17, reversing a trial judge's ruling (Bennett & Bennett Construction Inc. v. Auto Owners Insurance Co., No. 2011-183007, S.C. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Commercial general liability coverage for an underlying lawsuit over the death of a demolition worker is precluded by the policy's employers liability exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 17, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co. v. H & W Equities Incorporated, et al., No. 1:12-cv-693, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99910).
HONOLULU, Hawaii - A pollution liability insurer is obligated to reimburse $241,392.87 to a commercial general liability (CGL) insurer for costs incurred in defending underlying lawsuits arising out of damages from construction work, a Hawaii federal judge ruled July 15 (Gemini Insurance Co. v. Kukui'ula Development Company (Hawaii) LLC, et al., No. 10-00637, D. Hawaii; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98281).
LAS VEGAS - A commercial general liability insurer properly denied its duty to defend an insured in a construction defects case because the alleged property damage occurred prior to the policy period, a Nevada federal judge held July 12, also finding that the policy's "other insurance" provisions applied (Northern Insurance Company of New York v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 11-01672, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97563).
ATLANTA - An "occurrence," as the term is used in a standard commercial general liability insurance policy, does not require damage to the property or work of someone other than the insured, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled July 12 (Taylor Morrison Services Inc. v. HDI-Gerling America Insurance Co., No. S13Q0462, Ga. Sup.; 2013 Ga. LEXIS 619).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 8 affirmed the dismissal of a class action complaint alleging that a prescription drug manufacturer and pharmacy engaged in a scheme to defraud insurers (United Food and Commercial Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund v. Walgreen Co., et al., No. 12-2077, 7th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A Georgia appeals court on June 27 affirmed a decision granting summary judgment in favor of a city, finding no evidence to support a finding that it was liable for remediation costs associated with damage caused by a sewer line backup into a commercial property (J.N. Legacy Group Inc. v. City of Dallas, Georgia, No. A13A0729, Ga. App., 3rd Div.; 2013 Ga. App. LEXIS 543).
HONOLULU - Contract claims and contract-based claims are not "occurrences" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a Hawaii federal judge ruled June 24, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an underlying action or arbitration (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. 3 Builders Inc., No. 11-00303, D. Hawaii; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88480).
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - A commercial general liability insurance policy unambiguously provides a single $1 million limit of liability for all claims arising out of a minor's rodeo accident, including the parents' derivative claim for medical expenses, a Missouri federal judge ruled June 24, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Northland Casualty Co. v. T-N-T Ranch and Rodeo Co., LLC, et al., No. 11-01275-SJ-CV-DGK, W.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88038).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 upheld the rejection of two cases by pilots challenging the nonretroactivity provision of a federal rule that extended the maximum age for piloting commercial flights by five years (George Emory, et al. v. United Air Lines, Inc., et al., No. 11-7142, Grant O. Adams, et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 12-5026, D.C. Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 12724).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not provide coverage for construction defect claims, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held June 18, reversing a trial court's ruling granting summary judgment to the insurer (Lisbeth L. Cherrington, et al. v. Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Co., No. 12-0036, W.Va. Sup.; 2013 W.Va. LEXIS 724).
CONCORD, N.H. - A federal judge in New Hampshire on June 13 entered judgment in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit, one day after ruling that a claimant failed to establish that he was an insured under primary and excess policies that were issued to his former employer (Mark A. Hansen v. Sentry Insurance Co., No. 12-cv-466-JD, D. N.H.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83356).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel on June 5 found that there is no coverage for a school board insured's increased construction costs under an "ordinance or law" policy endorsement because the repairs or replacement were not made within two years from the date of the loss, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of an excess commercial property insurer in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Katrina (Orleans Parish School Board v. Lexington Insurance Company, et al., 2012-CA-1686, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 1143).