SDV Insights

Construction Defect Dispute Governed by Contract Disputes Act not yet Suited to being a "Suit"

The Southern District of California recently held that a series of demands for a general contractor to investigate and repair several construction defects at a U.S. Army facility did not constitute a "suit" within the meaning of the general contractor's commercial general liability ("CGL") policy.

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"Repair Work" Endorsements and Punch List Work

The recent white paper on Repair Work Endorsements by Jeremiah Welch, drew a storm of responses. Most were appreciative and included follow up questions, but there were those that lamented along the lines of: "How can that be? We've been doing it this way for years...".

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Insurer's Negligence Can Lead to a Finding of Bad Faith

The Florida Supreme Court's decision in GEICO General Insurance Co. v. Harvey1 held an insurer accountable for bad faith as a result of actions which were not malicious in nature, but rather consisted of self-serving inaction. The court's decision ushers in an era of closer scrutiny on the actions of insurers and may pave the way for a lower standard for proving bad faith.

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Wisconsin Tests Breadth of Duty to Defend: Declines to Strip Wholesaler of Defense

Wisconsin's Supreme Court recently held that even where a complaint generally alleges a company acted wrongfully and with intent to defraud, a single potentially covered claim still triggers the duty to defend. The case is yet another in a long line of state high court decisions finding that the duty to defend is exceedingly broad and applies where there is a single potentially covered claim.

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Project-Specific Commercial General Liability Insurance

Many markets which provide insurance for construction projects include an endorsement providing coverage for "repair work" as part of their standard policy. "Repair work" endorsements are largely misunderstood by policyholders and the insurance broker community.

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Nevada Court Finds Insurers May be Liable for Consequential Damages - No Bad Faith Required!

In a lawsuit arising out of a traffic accident, the Nevada Supreme Court departed from the majority view among jurisdictions that an insurer's liability is generally capped at its policy limits. In Century Surety Co. v. Andrew, the Court held that a commercial liability insurer could be liable for damages in excess of the policy limits for failing to defend its insured, even if the insurer acted in good faith.

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Fifth Circuit Rules that Settlements in Underlying Action Constitute "Other Insurance"

The Fifth Circuit ruled that settlements between an insured and its subcontractors qualified as "other insurance" to the extent those settlements were used to pay for damages covered by an excess insurance policy. Policyholders should note the outcome of this case as it demonstrates the significant impact that settlements can have on coverage.

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Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies the Meaning of "Living in the Same Household" for Purposes of Coverage Under a Homeowners Policy

As all insurance coverage attorneys know, how courts interpret certain words and phrases in insurance policies is significant since one word can make the difference between a claim being covered ...

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The Notice-Prejudice Rule Lives on in California

The California Court of Appeals recently confirmed California's support for the notice-prejudice rule. The notice-prejudice rule requires insurers that deny coverage based on a failure to provide notice under the policy to show that they have been prejudiced by the untimely or insufficient notice.

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Ohio State Court Provides a Bit of Clarification on Virtual Currency Coverage

An Ohio court finds that Bitcoin constitutes covered "property," rather than "money," under a homeowners' insurance policy, thereby rendering the policy's restrictive monetary sublimit inapplicable to the policyholder's $16,000 claim for stolen Bitcoin.

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SDV is based in Connecticut, conveniently located between New York City and Boston, with regional offices in Florida and California to better serve our clients. We're ready to answer your questions and eager to assist you in developing solutions.