ORANGEBURG, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify assignees for alleged water damage sustained to a science building caused by an insured's work, a South Carolina federal judge ruled April 9 (Evanston Insurance Co. v. R&L Development Corporation LLC, et al., No. 12-02750, D. S.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48784).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 8 concluded that the employers liability exclusion in an excess commercial general liability insurance policy does not preclude coverage for underlying negligence claims against insured's employees because none of them was the employer of a worker who fatally fell at a construction site that was managed and supervised by the insured (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Design Build InterAmerican, Inc., et al., No. 12-15466, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6421).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An equitable garnishment judgment awarded to a homeowners association for water damage constituted "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Missouri appeals panel affirmed April 1; however, the panel modified the damages awarded to $4 million (The Village at Deer Creek Homeowners Association Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. WD76191 c/w WD76192, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 367).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - There were 19 separate "occurrences" under a commercial general liability insurance policy regarding claims for damage to swimming pools constructed with defectively produced concrete, a Connecticut federal judge ruled March 31, also finding that several business risk exclusions did not apply (Harleysville Worcester Insurance Co. v. Paramount Concrete Inc., et al., No. 11-578, D. Conn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43889).
PHOENIX - A commercial general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an insured from the date of tender of arbitration demands for allegedly defective stucco work in a residential housing development project, an Arizona federal judge ruled March 28 (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 11-1954, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42133).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An insured's faulty workmanship that led to water leaks was an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, the Alabama Supreme Court held March 28, withdrawing an earlier opinion and affirming that the insurer is obligated to pay an arbitration award against the insured (Owners Insurance Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder LLC, et al., No. 1120764, Ala. Sup.; 2014 Ala. LEXIS 44).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on March 26 ruled on several motions for summary judgment filed by commercial general liability insurers regarding their duty to defend and indemnify underlying construction defects cases and whether two of the insurers owe an equitable contribution to the one insurer that settled the underlying cases (Quanta Indemnity Co. v. Amberwood Development Inc., et al., No. 11-01807, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40211).
LOS ANGELES - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of GGW Brands LLC, the parent company for the producer of adult entertainment company that produces videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on March 24 denied the motion of one of GGW's affiliates that sought an order compelling the debtor to surrender commercial property (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Homeowners failed to establish evidence of coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy for an arbitration award against an insured contractor regarding alleged construction defects, an Alabama federal judge ruled March 25, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Guardian Builders Inc., et al., No. 11-04096, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40203).
CHICAGO - Efforts by a plaintiff company to offer testimony by its vice president of new business ventures relating to the commercial success of the anticoagulant drug Angiomax were thwarted March 25 by an Illinois federal judge, who instead found that his testimony would incorporate "faulty" methodology (The Medicines Company v. Mylan Inc., et al., No. 11-1285, N.D. Ill.).
TROY, Mich. - Reimbursement costs sought by an insured for repainting defective steel components do not constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Michigan appeals panel affirmed March 25, dismissing the insured's breach of contract lawsuit (Dave Cole Decorators Inc. v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 313641, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 518).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 ruled that "to come within the zone of interests in a suit for false advertising under" Section 1125(a) of the Lanham Act, "a plaintiff must allege an injury to a commercial interest in reputation or sales" (Lexmark International Inc. v. Static Control Components Inc., No. 12-873, U.S. Sup.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Unsolicited communications claims brought against Dish Network LLC by the United States and four states trigger a commercial general liability insurance policy's coverage for advertising injury and personal injury liability, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 24 (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America f/k/a The Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois v. Dish Network LLC, No. 12-03098, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37914).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 18 affirmed a lower court's finding that the recall of instant milk was an occurrence under a commercial general liability insurance policy, rejecting the insurer's argument that the policy's "your product," "impaired property" and "recall" exclusions preclude coverage for an underlying $1.4 million settlement (The Netherlands Insurance Co. v. Main Street Ingredients LLC, No. 13-1316, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5018).
MOBILE, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has standing to sue for a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to indemnify an underlying verdict regarding an insured's roof replacement work that allegedly caused leaking, an Alabama federal judge ruled March 18 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish and Kiker Corp., No. 13-00066, S.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34972).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify insureds against an underlying construction defect lawsuit because they failed to give timely notice of the lawsuit, an Alabama federal judge held March 13 (Pennsylvania Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Watts Builders LLC, et al., No. 12-994, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32392).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying claims that it misappropriated trade secrets to create and sell lighting fixtures that mimicked the appearance of those sold by the underlying claimant (Bridge Metal Industries LLC, et al. v. Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 11-4228, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4463).
LOS ANGELES - A California court on March 6 affirmed a trial court's decision in favor of various owners of a commercial property, finding that building employees failed to present expert evidence in support of their claims that Legionella bacteria and mold in the water system made them sick (Carol Harris, et al. v. 3075 Wilshire LLC, et al., No. B223826, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1629).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 10 declined to hear the appeal of a June 2013 decision by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholding 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. 13-826, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 1870).