The “business risk” doctrine has become a fixture of insurance coverage law, with profound implications for insured contractors and plaintiff property owners involved in construction-defect litigation. Concisely stated, the doctrine holds that “faulty workmanship standing alone, resulting in damage only to the work product itself. . .” falls outside the ambit of coverage provided by a CGL policy.
Continue Reading Fourth and Fifth Circuits Reign in “Business Risk” Doctrine: Rulings in Favor of Coverage Under General Contractors’ CGL Insurance Policies Add Clarity, Signal Return to “Plain Language”

In an unpublished decision, the Appellate Division recently enforced an insurer’s duty to indemnify and defend a condominium association for damages resulting from an occurrence during the policy period even though they were not discovered until after the policy had expired. Steinbauer v. East Coast Acquisitions, LLC, 2007 WL 2593007 (App. Div. September 11, 2007).
Continue Reading Appellate Division Enforces Terms of Association’s Insurance Policy

In an unpublished case addressing a peculiar repair, the Appellate Division recently reiterated one of the basics of common interest ownership: When in doubt, read your documents. Waldstein v. Highview at Hawthorne Ass’n, Inc., A-2281-05T1 (June 12, 2007).
Continue Reading To determine who is responsible for repair or replacement, read your documents

A federal district court in Houston, interpreting Texas law, found that an insurance company had a duty to defend its insured, a manufactured home builder, against claims brought by a lender which funded 676 loans used to purchase homes.
Continue Reading Federal Court in Texas Court Finds a Duty to Defend Construction Defect Claims based on Diminution in Value

the Economic Loss Doctrine is often trotted out by defendants in Construction Defect cases as a way of avoiding responsibility for their actions. The rule is used differently in different states. In some states, you cannot make a negligence (tort) claim for anything other than personal injury or damage to personal property.
Continue Reading Oregon Appellate Court Rejects Economic Loss Doctrine in Two Construction Cases

Plaintiff’s are especially concerned about laying out enormous sums for legal and expert fees and costs, with no idea where the money is going to come from to pay their damages. One of the most important things counsel does is show the client where the money is going to come from. The answer is—insurance.
Continue Reading Financial Implications of Construction Law: Insurance

Professor Herbert M. Kritzer’s upcoming law review article on the practice of insurance defense lawyers is very beneficial for litigants to understand how the relationship between the three players who will be involved for each Defendant entity (insurance carrier; contractor-policyholder; defense attorney) works, and where the loyalties and long-term relationships lie.
Continue Reading The Commodification of Insurance Defense Practice