VALDOSTA, Ga. - A commercial general liability insurer did not have a duty to defend or indemnify an insured for repairs made to alleged defective workmanship, a Georgia federal judge ruled Sept. 26, granting summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Standard Contractors Inc. v. National Trust Insurance Co., No. 14-66, M.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135651).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Without a copy of the disputed commercial general liability insurance policy, a California federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed additional insureds' counterclaims for breach of contract and bad faith based on an insurer's alleged refusal to cooperate in the defense of an underlying construction defects case (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Shapell Industries Inc., et al., No. 13-05115, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132934).
BECKLEY, W.Va. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured against an underlying breach of contract claim regarding the insured's alleged failure to excavate a site for the construction of a school, a West Virginia federal judge ruled Sept. 18 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Carpenter Reclamation Inc., No. 13-12818, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130752).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 19 refused to dismiss a commercial general liability insurer's breach of contract, equitable subrogation and contribution claims against a subcontractor regarding alleged faulty deck waterproofing that resulted in water damage to a residential construction project (Amerisure Insurance Co. v. Southern Waterproofing Inc., No. 14-154, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131765).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify because there was no "occurrence" arising out of an insured's alleged breach of contract due to failing to work in a workmanlike and timely manner, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled Sept. 9 (Jennifer Dahl and Collin Dahl, et al. v. Peninsula Builders LLC, et al., No. 2014AP270, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 715).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 affirmed a lower court's decision that the company that owned a tug boat and barge that were responsible for an oil spill in the Mississippi River could not seek indemnification from the companies it contracted with to clean up the spill. Rather, the tug and barge owner was liable to the U.S. government for the payments made from a national oil spill trust fund that were used to cover remediation costs (United States of America v American Commercial Lines LLC v. Environmental Safety & Health Consulting Services Inc., No. 13-30358, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13592).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - A contractual liability exclusion under a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for claims against an insured for breach of contract stemming from problems with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled June 17 (North Star Mutual Insurance Co. v. Roddy Rose, et al., No. 13-373, E.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82008).
LOS ANGELES - Finding that a property owner's claim against a subcontractor did not include allegations of property damage, a California appeals panel on May 16 held that a commercial general liability (CGL) insurer did not have any duty to defend the subcontractor, affirming that the insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith (Regional Steel Corp. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. B245961, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3496).
LOS ANGELES - An insurance broker established that an insured did not seek from the broker the broadest possibility commercial general liability insurance as alleged by assigned homeowners, a California appeals panel held May 9, affirming the entry of summary judgment to the broker on breach of contract and negligence claims (Gerald V. Hollingsworth Jr., et al. v. JAD Insurance Brokers Inc., No. B246708, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3328).
SEATTLE - A commercial general liability insurance policy's exclusions for damage occurring during an insured's work operations preclude coverage for an underlying breach of contract lawsuit, a Washington appeals panel affirmed May 5 (Western National Assurance Co. v. Shelcon Construction Group LLC, No. 70143-6-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1094).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of breach of contract, third-party beneficiary insurance and negligence claims in a lawsuit arising from Hurricane Floyd damage (Thomas and Cheryl Koziol Inc. v. LaSalle National Bank $(as Trustee$); GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., et al., No. A-0849-12T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 949).
MOBILE, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying breach of contract jury verdict entered against an insured regarding roof replacement work that allegedly caused leaking based upon a "contractual liability" exclusion, an Alabama federal judge ruled April 25 (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 57636).
TROY, Mich. - In a majority ruling, a Michigan appeals court on April 17 affirmed a judgment in favor of commercial property owners in relation to a tenant's breach of contract claims and reversed a decision that refused to award them fees (Stanwood Motor Sports Acquisition LLC. V. Joseph F. Arnold, et al., No. 313994, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 707).
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).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Faulty workmanship on its own is not an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Kentucky federal judge ruled Feb. 28, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend an insured in an underlying breach of contract action (State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Daniel Bragg d/b/a Bragg Septic & Electric, No. 13-100, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25659).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured against an underlying construction defects judgment totaling $700,000 because breach of contract is not an "occurrence" under the policy, an Alabama federal judge ruled Feb. 11 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Howard Snider, et al., No. 11-215, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16920).
PORTLAND, Maine - Under Maine law, a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend an insured against an underlying lawsuit for breach of contract arising from the insured's alleged faulty workmanship, a Maine federal judge ruled Feb. 4 (Ted Berry Company Inc. v. Excelsior Insurance Co., No. 13-342, D. Maine; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13585).
AUSTIN, Texas - A general contractor that agrees to perform its construction work in a good and workmanlike manner, without more, does not enlarge its duty to exercise ordinary care in fulfilling its contract; therefore, it does not "assume liability" for damages arising out of its defective work so as to trigger the contractual liability exclusion under a commercial general liability insurance policy, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Jan. 17 (Ewing Construction Company Inc. v. Amerisure Insurance Co., No. 12-0661, Texas Sup.; 2014 Tex. LEXIS 39).
CINCINNATI - Under Kentucky law, a subcontractor's allegedly faulty preparation of a building pad that resulted in subsequent settling and structural damages to the building did not constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 19 (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Kay and Kay Contracting LLC and MW Builders Inc., No. 12-5791, 6th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 30 found that a customer's breach of contract and faulty workmanship claims against an insured are not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy, reversing and remanding a lower court's finding that the insurer has a duty to defend its insured (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Advanced Cooling and Heating, Inc., No. 4D12-257, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 17208).
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).
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).
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).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 affirmed a trial court's ruling regarding the terms of a construction contract, concluding that a hotel company was a "sophisticated and experienced commercial entity that understood the risks involved in the design and construction of a hotel and freely negotiated the limitation of liability clause" (SAMS Hotel Group LLC v. Environs Inc., No. 12-2979, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11047).
CONCORD, N.H. - A claimant has failed to establish that his alleged disparaging conduct was in his capacity as an insured, a New Hampshire federal judge ruled April 22, denying the claimant's motion for partial summary judgment in a breach of contract suit against a commercial general liability insurer (Mark A. Hansen v. Sentry Insurance Co., No. 12-cv-466-JD, D. N.H.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57275).