Three significant insurance disputes are pending before the New York Court of Appeals, and Hunton partner Syed Ahmad discusses the importance of those cases in Law 360’s article titled 3 Insurance Cases To Watch At NY’s High Court.
Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals recently ruled in James G. Davis Construction Corporation v. Erie Insurance Exchange1 that a subcontractor’s insurer was obligated to defend the general contractor against allegations that it was negligent in its supervision of the subcontractor. In doing so, the court reversed the trial court’s ruling that the general contractor was covered only for claims of vicarious liability for the subcontractor’s actions.
In a decision of import to employers and contractors in particular, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has limited the scope of a commercial general liability policy’s “employer liability” exclusionary endorsement, finding that in the case of contractors and subcontractors, the exclusion applies only to bodily injury claims brought by persons who have contracted directly with the policyholder. United States Liab. Ins. Co. v. Benchmark Constr. Servs., Inc., No. 14-1832 (1st Cir. August 12, 2015) (“Benchmark”).
The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey recently ruled in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, L.L.C.1 that consequential damages to the common area and units of a condominium complex caused by a subcontractor’s defective work constituted “property damage” and an “occurrence” under the building developer’s standard-form CGL policies, even though the policies were unlikely to cover direct damages like replacement costs. The case serves as a reminder that not all damages are treated alike by insurance policies, and policyholders therefore should not assume that an adverse determination as to one type of loss will apply to all resulting loss.