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Florida Construction Law Update

Category Archives: Insurance

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Chapter 558: What Suits You May Not Suit Your Insurer – Florida Federal Court Determines that a Chapter 558 Notice of Claim Does Not Require Defense or Indemnity

Posted in Construction, Coverage, Duty to Defend, Indemnification, Insurance

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently issued an opinion in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., No. 13-80831-CIV, 2015 WL 3539755 (S.D. Fla. June 4, 2015), addressing an issue of first impression.  In Altman, the Court evaluated whether an insurer has a duty to defend… Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Pulls the Trigger on Injury-In-Fact

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Coverage, Duty to Defend, Indemnification, Insurance

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed Florida as an injury-in-fact trigger state in Carithers v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., Case No. 14-11639 (11th Cir. April 7, 2015).  However, the Court did not end the manifestation versus injury-in-fact debate, choosing instead not to address the appropriate trigger where it is “difficult (or impossible) to determine… Continue Reading

Recent Case Law to Help Navigate Dual Employment in a Construction Setting

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Insurance, Subcontractors

Recently, the First DCA addressed the issue of dual employment as it relates to a contractor and subcontractor. See Roof Painting by Hartzell, Inc./Summit Holdings Claim Center v. Andres Hernandez, Colors Construction, Inc., and Guarantee Insurance Company, 2015 WL 641199, (Fla. 1st DCA 2015). Dual employment occurs when a single employee is under a contract… Continue Reading

11th Circuit Finds No Coverage for Shipbuilder under Marine Engineering Firm’s A&E Policy

Posted in Architects, Coverage, Design Professionals, Engineers, Insurance, Professional Liability

On December 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit published an opinion finding no coverage for a shipbuilder under a marine engineering firm’s Architect’s and Engineer’s professional liability insurance policy.  Atlantic Marine Florida, LLC, et al. v. Evanston Ins. Co., et al., No. 13-11342 (to view the opinion please click… Continue Reading

State Court Finds Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Statute Unconstitutional

Posted in Contractors, Florida Legislation, Insurance, Negligence

Judge Jorge E. Cueto, sitting in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida, recently found the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act, as amended effective October 1, 2003, does not provide a “reasonable alternative remedy to the tort remedy it supplanted.” Padgett v. State of Florida, No. 11-13661-CA-25 (view the Padgett opinion). This ruling declares the… Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms No Coverage for Cost to Repair Damage Caused by Subcontractor’s Defective Work

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Indemnification, Insurance

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals continues to find favorably for commercial general liability (CGL) carriers on coverage for damage to the completed project caused by the defective work of subcontractors. On July 11, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit decided J.D.B. Construction, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, No. 13-10138 (11th Cir. Jul. 11, 2014) (view the… Continue Reading

Self-Insured Retention Obligations, Third-Party Indemnification Payments, and the Made Whole Doctrine

Posted in Indemnification, Insurance, Subrogation

In Intervest Constr. of Jax, Inc. v. General Fid. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 463309 (Fla. 2014), the Florida Supreme Court decided a matter of first impression certified to it by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals holding that an insured was permitted to apply third-party indemnification payments towards its self-insured retention (“SIR”) obligation under a… Continue Reading

Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Standard Form Commercial General Liability Policies

Posted in Insurance

The recent decision in Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Advanced Cooling and Heating, Inc., 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2256a (Fla. 4th DCA 2013), gives us the opportunity to revisit a hotly contested issue in the construction industry: what triggers an insurer’s duty to defend under a post-1986 standard form commercial general liability insurance policy?… Continue Reading

Liability Releases with Warranty Repairs – A Proactive Defense

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Engineers, Insurance, Subrogation

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal recently issued an important opinion regarding a Developer’s and Contractor’s liability for claims by an Condominium Association’s property insurance carrier for a subrogation claim after the Developer and Contractor entered into a release with the Association pursuant to certain warranty repairs. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the… Continue Reading

Insurer’s Total Pollution Exclusion Valid According to U.S. Southern District of Florida Court

Posted in Construction, Contractors, Insurance

Due to the use of Chinese drywall in construction projects, there has been an advent of class action litigation against contractors and suppliers of Chinese drywall for personal injuries and property damage.  Recently, insurers have started the process to deny coverage for the contractors who installed Chinese drywall. Since the mid‐1980s virtually all Commercial General… Continue Reading

CSK Trial Win

Posted in Architects, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Engineers, Insurance, Uncategorized

George Truitt and Daniel Levin recently defended an architect and his firm against a claim by a homeowner relating to the design of the HVAC system in an 8,000 square foot, custom home on the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami, Florida.  The owner claimed that the system was deficiently designed so that it was not able… Continue Reading

Keeping Claims Files Confidential: “Work-Product” Privilege for Construction Claims Handling

Posted in Construction, Insurance

The vast majority of construction disputes do not begin with the filing of formal litigation.  In fact, Florida Statute § 558.004 protects against any “first-notice” lawsuits by requiring that notice and an opportunity to cure any alleged defect be given prior to the pursuit of formal litigation.  Of course, as part of any pre-suit investigation,… Continue Reading

Preserving Coverage Defenses – The Latest Word

Posted in Construction, Insurance, Subcontractors

For an insurer, numerous obligations are triggered upon notification of the existence of a claim.  One of these is when a coverage defense can be asserted.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently clarified that in order to raise valid coverage defenses and steer clear of preventable pitfalls, insurers must be… Continue Reading