Source: http://www.lexology.com, December 20, 2013
By: Brian Bassett, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP
In its recent decision in Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. Kay & Kay Contracting LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23587 (6th Cir. Nov. 19, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, applying Kentucky law, had occasion to consider whether a subcontractor’s allegedly faulty preparation of a building pad, and the resulting settling and structural damages to the building constructed on the building pad, constitutes an “occurrence.”
Liberty Mutual issued a CGL insurance policy to Kay & Kay as the named insured and included MW Builders as an additional insured (“the contractors”). Wal-Mart contracted with MW Builders as a general contractor to build a new Wal-Mart store. MW Builders in turn subcontracted with Kay & Kay to perform site preparation work and construct the building pad for the new store. After Kay & Kay completed the building pad and constructed the building, Wal-Mart notified MW Builders that there were cracks in the building’s wall. Wal-Mart demanded that MW Builders remedy these issues and fix the resulting damage. MW Builders in turn demanded that Kay & Kay remedy these issues and indemnify MW Builders from Wal-Mart’s claim. MW Builders and Kay & Kay reached an agreement and executed a new and separate contract under which Kay & Kay agreed to perform the remedial work demanded by Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, Liberty Mutual filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment against the contractors alleging that their claims were not covered under the CGL policy, in relevant part, because there was no “occurrence” alleged.…
Source: http://www.mondaq.com, March 12, 2013
By: Andrea Cortland, Cozen O’Connor
On February 15, 2013 a Pennsylvania federal district court held that the shipment of defective drywall from China to the United States constituted one “occurrence” for purposes of insurance coverage, and the occurrence took place when the damage caused by the drywall manifested itself in the residences or buildings of the underlying plaintiffs. With this ruling, Pennsylvania joins Virginia as one of the few states to opine regarding the number of occurrences in the Chinese drywall context.
Devon International, Devon International Industries, and Devon International Group (collectively, Devon), imported a single order of drywall from China to Pensacola, Fla. Unbeknownst to Devon, the drywall was defective, as it contained an inordinately high amount of sulfur, and a few years after selling the drywall to distributors in the United States, Devon was hit with a multitude of Chinese drywall lawsuits in various jurisdictions.
As is common with Chinese drywall cases, the plaintiffs in the underlying lawsuits generally alleged the sulfur emitted by the drywall damaged their real and personal property. Faced with these lawsuits, Devon turned to its liability insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company (Cincinnati) to defend and indemnify it under the liability policies issued to it by Cincinnati for two consecutive policy periods. Although Cincinnati accepted Devon’s tender, the parties disagreed as to whether the underlying claims against Devon arose out of a single occurrence or multiple occurrences. Litigation between Devon and Cincinnati ensued.…
Acknowledgement to Great American Insurance Group
CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Yesterday Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised its financial strength ratings for AFG’s core insurance subsidiaries to ‘A+’ from ‘A’. At the same time, S&P raised its counterparty credit rating on American Financial Group to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’. The outlook on all of these companies is stable. …