RICHMOND, Va. - A real estate developer's untimely notice of a claim over alleged defective soil settlement issues prejudiced its commercial general liability insurers, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 23, upholding summary judgment to the insurers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. and National Surety Corp. v. THF Clarksburg Development Two, LLC, et al., No. 15-1453, 4th Cir.).
HOUSTON - A commercial property insurance policy's water exclusion endorsement precludes coverage for water damage from a failed pipe that does not qualify as personal property, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Praetorian Insurance Co. v. Arabia Shrine Center Houston, No. 14-3281, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20186).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 16 found that a commercial general liability insurer owes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that negligence by the City of New York, its Administration for Children's Services and a foster care agency resulted in abuse and death, finding that the insurer failed to provide a timely disclaimer of coverage that was necessary to invoke a policy exclusion (The City of New York v Granite State Insurance Co., No. 236, 451366/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1125).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A majority of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Feb. 12 rejected an insured's argument that a commercial general liability insurance policy's employer's liability exclusion as it relates to a "leased worker" is unconscionable and against public policy, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a workplace injury (Westfield Insurance Company v. Astra Foods Inc., et al., No. 1392 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 84).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurance policy's water damage exclusion bars coverage for an underlying claimant's damages that arose from the intrusion of rainwater, rejecting the insured's contention that the insurer committed breach of contract and bad faith (Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Co. f/k/a Montpelier U.S. Insurance Co. v. LJA Commercial Solutions LLC, et al., No. 15-60360, 5th Cir.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer failed to establish that it has no duty to defend or indemnify insureds in an underlying construction defects lawsuit, an Alabama federal judge held Feb. 9, finding that alleged water damage caused by insureds' faulty workmanship was an "occurrence" (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Kenny Hayes Custom Homes, LLC, et al., No. 15-0054, S.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15340).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge did not err in rejecting efforts by an Ohio company to reduce its $1.7 million withdrawal liability following a union-mandated withdrawal from a multiemployer pension plan, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 4 (United Food and Commercial Workers Union-Employer Pension Fund, et al. v. Rubber Associates Inc., No. 15-3434, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1873).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether a general contractor qualified as an additional insured under a commercial general liability policy and, if so, whether the contractor satisfied the self-insured retention (SIR) endorsement in an underlying construction defects lawsuit, a Florida federal judge held Feb. 1 (Core Construction Services Southeast, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-1789, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11487).
CHICAGO - Citing the "farcical nature" of a television commercial for the popular 5-Hour Energy drink, an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 1 dismissed allegations of false advertising and invasion of privacy levied against the drink maker (Johannes T. Martin v. Living Essentials LLC, No. 15-1647, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11287).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Sufficient evidence exists to show that an insured performed arc flash hazard analyses and training for purposes of an absolute professional liability exclusion under a commercial general liability policy, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Jan. 25, denying summary judgment to the insured (Evanston Insurance Co. v. AJ's Electrical Testing & Services LLC d/b/a Southern Substation, et al., No. 15-01843, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8144).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a 2004 commercial crime insurance policy extended employee dishonesty coverage only to losses an insured incurred as a result of alleged fraudulent conduct occurring during the 2003 and 2004 policy periods (EMCOR Group Inc., et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 14-1682, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1229).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Jan. 21 held that primary and excess commercial general liability insurers do not owe coverage for a fatal injury that occurred on a university campus during a men's lacrosse practice (Underwriters Safety and Claims Inc., et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-00183, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7429).
DENVER - A federal district court erred in granting summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because it is unclear whether an insured had an affirmative duty to inform his insurer that he had incorporated a company he used to purchase a commercial general liability policy from the insurer, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 20 in partially reversing the district court's opinion (Corey Christy v. Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. 14-2168, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 891).
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend an additional insured against breach of contract claims for failure to pay a company for remediating water damage to a school, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Jan. 7, because the breach was a separate and independent act severing the causal connection with the water intrusion (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 14-772, M.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1432).
NEW YORK - Allegations of an insured's faulty workmanship are not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 10, finding that even if the allegations were covered, the damage occurred outside of the policy period (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. A One Testing Laboratories, Inc. a/k/a A-1 Testing Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-4023, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165756).
SALT LAKE CITY - A commercial general liability insurer is entitled to prejudgment interest from another insurer for costs spent in defending a mutual insured in a construction defects lawsuit, a Utah federal judge ruled Dec. 4 (Chapman Construction LC and United Fire & Casualty Co. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 15-00172, D. Utah; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163068).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Allegations of an additional insured's faulty work to a roof do not constitute an "occurrence," a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 7, finding that a commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify (Core Construction Services Southeast, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-1790, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163695).
AUSTIN, Texas - In response to four questions certified from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court on Dec. 4 found that the terms "physical injury" and "replacement" are not ambiguous as incorporated into the "your product" or "impaired property" exclusions of a commercial general liability insurance policy and the installation of faulty flanges alone did not physically injure diesel units in a coverage dispute arising from the defective flanges (U.S. Metals, Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-0753, Texas Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured because there is no disputed issue of fact about whether there was an "occurrence" following the incomplete construction of a home over a payment dispute, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 19 (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. f/k/a USF Insurance Co. v. Homer F. Savard, et al., No. 13-16638, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20095).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 16 recommended that a default ruling be entered against the owner of a commercial establishment after it failed to respond to claims for violation for California's unfair competition law (UCL), conversion and other causes of action for showing an unauthorized broadcast, awarding the owner of the broadcast $10,000 in damages (J&J Sports Productions Inc. v. Philip Isidro, No. 2:14-cv-2720, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154773).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Nov. 12 granted an insurer's motion to remand a dispute over commercial general liability and errors and omissions insurance coverage for an underlying counterclaim stemming from an insured's intellectual property investigation (Conifer Insurance Co. v. Continental Inc., et al., No. 15-11650, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153488).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An expert may not testify in a slip-and-fall lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores East LP that a plaintiff's injuries resulted from "an unreasonably dangerous condition" and that a painted crosswalk "was not in compliance with industry standards for being slip resistant because the paint did not contain an appropriate aggregate material," an Alabama federal judge ruled Nov. 12 (Duane Alsip as administrator and personal representative of the Estate of Emma Alsip v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP and Sovereign Commercial Maintenance Company LLC, No. 14-474, S.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153069).
LAS VEGAS - Anti-stacking provisions in commercial general liability insurance policies are unambiguous, a Nevada federal judge ruled Nov. 12, denying summary judgment to an excess insurer in an equitable contribution lawsuit over settlement of a construction defect lawsuit against a mutual insured (United National Insurance Co. v. Assurance Company of America, et al., No. 10-1086, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153822).