SDV Insights

Construction Insights

Effects of Amendment to Florida's Statute of Repose on the Products Completed Operations Hazard

Recent amendments to Florida's Statute of Repose have resulted in concerns as to the scope of risk Florida homebuilders face as a result, and the availability of insurance coverage for such exposures. Previously, the statute provided for a strict, yet straightforward 10-year limitation for latent construction defect claims.

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OH Supreme Court Rules Against General Contractor in Construction Defect Coverage Dispute

On October 9, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision in Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services, Inc., Slip Op. 2018-Ohio-4057, finding that a general contractor was not entitled to defense or indemnity from its CGL insurer in a construction defect suit brought by a project owner post-project completion.

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The Outer Limits: Indiana Federal Court Refuses to Apply Interrelated Wrongful Acts Exclusion in D&O Coverage Dispute

In a recent pro-policyholder decision, an Indiana federal court held that a common, broadly-worded exclusion in Directors & Officers ("D&O") insurance for "Interrelated Wrongful Act[s]" did not preclude coverage, since a literal interpretation would produce "absurd" results. In the past, the all-encompassing language of the exclusion has been abused by insurers who have sought to construe the concept of "interrelation" so broadly as to exclude coverage for otherwise covered claims.

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New York Court of Appeals Addresses Choice of Law Challenges

In June, the New York Court of Appeals examined the application of a New York Choice of Law provision in a contract - a determinative issue for the case. In Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., the issue was whether the plaintiff's claims were subject to Ontario, Canada's 2-year statute of limitations or New York's 6-year statute of limitations for breach of contract where the contract contained a broad New York Choice of Law provision.

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Additional Insured Coverage Dispute: Vivify v. Nautilus

Additional insured coverage for bodily injury to a downstream party's employees is one of the foremost considerations in any traditional risk transfer scheme. Upstream and downstream parties alike generally intend for the downstream party's insurance to respond to these claims--before the upstream party's insurance and in lieu of a contractual indemnity claim.

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Whose Contract Is It Anyway: Gilbane Decision Requires Contractual Privity

As previously addressed in "Whose Contract Is It Anyway: Addressing the Contractual Privity Problem," additional insured coverage under Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), standard blanket additional insured endorsements is often conditioned, in part, on the existence of a written contract requiring additional insured coverage.

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Wrap-Up Exclusion Blocks Additional Insured Claim in New York

It has become quite common for large-scale construction projects to be insured under consolidated insurance ("wrap-up") programs, where the owner, general contractor, and a majority of subcontractors are covered under the same primary and excess liability policies. However, when a wrap-up is acquired, not all parties involved in the construction project are enrolled.

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Court Narrowly Interprets "Faulty Workmanship" Provision

In a recent victory in their home state of Connecticut, Saxe Doernberger & Vita partners, Jeffrey Vita and Theresa Guertin, representing owner-developer 777 Main Street, LLC, overcame a summary judgment motion filed by Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The Connecticut Superior court refused to adopt the insurer's broad interpretation of the "faulty workmanship" exclusion in an all-risk builders' risk insurance policy.

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CA Supreme Court Set to Rule on Important Occurrence Issue Certified by Ninth Circuit

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments over whether an insurer is required to cover allegations that a builder negligently failed to supervise an employee who sexually assaulted a middle school student while working at the student's school.

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Florida Supreme Court: Notice of Right to Repair is a CGL

The New Year started off with a bang for Florida construction insurance policyholders. In late December, the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged a contractor's right to a CGL defense during Florida's right-to-repair process.

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