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01.10.2017 // EDUCATION & PUBLIC AGENCY CONSTRUCTION LAW
New Law on Time Limits for Concerns with Construction Workmanship
In Oregon, there is a time limit for a school district, or any property owner, to raise concerns with its contractors about potentially faulty construction workmanship. Pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes 12.135(2), a school district as a public body has 10 years from “substantial completion” of a construction project to file a claim against a contractor...
12.14.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Oregon Supreme Court reaffirms broad nature of the duty to defend, even in the face of ambiguous or unclear allegations
Back in August 2015, I wrote this post about the Oregon Court of Appeals opinion in West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., where the court confirmed that Oregon’s broad duty to defend extended to parties claiming rights as “additional insureds.” Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court affirmed that decision, broadly holding that “regardless...
03.14.2018 // EDUCATION & PUBLIC AGENCY CONSTRUCTION LAW
Facilities Going Green
In recent years, we have seen many positive impacts from the new construction of “Green” school facilities around Oregon. However, it does not necessarily take a new building or a laborious remodel to create a more sustainable environment. Whether your buildings are brand new or years old, it takes just a little extra energy to...
12.09.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Florida Supreme Court holds that the concurrent cause doctrine is alive and well
Last week, the Florida Supreme Court put policyholders’ minds at ease in Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co. by overturning a lower appellate court’s decision holding that the concurrent cause doctrine had no place in Florida first-party property claims. Until the appellate court’s decision in 2013, Florida courts had routinely applied the concurrent cause doctrine...
10.20.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Retroactive dates punch gaps into insured’s coverage
Most professional-liability policies are written on a “claims-made” basis, which provides coverage for lawsuits filed against the insured during the policy period — even for damages caused by some professional negligence that occurred long before the policy was issued (and, perhaps, for some mistake at a time when the insured had no insurance coverage at...
10.12.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Court finds plaintiff’s attorney fees covered by liability policy
One of the most misunderstood provisions in a Commercial General Liability policy is the first sentence, which provides that the insurance company promises to provide coverage for damages “because of” bodily injury or property damage. Many people, including seasoned insurance professionals, believe CGL policies merely provide coverage “for” bodily injury or property damage. We see...
09.22.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Oregon Supreme Court forecloses insurers from taking a second bite at the apple
Today, the Oregon Supreme Court unanimously rejected a liability insurer’s attempt to avoid paying on a judgment entered against its insured in FountainCourt Homeowners’ Ass’n v. FountainCourt Dev., LLC. The Court held that an insurer cannot re-litigate an underlying lawsuit as part of an insurance-coverage lawsuit, and that a claimant must show only that some property damage occurred...
09.20.2016 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Property Developers Need to Take Extra Steps to Protect Themselves from ADA and FHA Liabilities
The federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) require property developers to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals. In turn, property owners rely on their architect and engineer to design compliant projects. If a project is not compliant, it is typical thinking that the property owner will seek indemnification and defense...
09.14.2016 // EDUCATION & PUBLIC AGENCY CONSTRUCTION LAW
Avoiding and Resolving Disputes About Building Performance
Over the next few years, school districts across the state will spend millions on construction and renovations. It is an exciting time; schools are testing new products, new building control systems, and new methods and components. Since facilities managers are responsible for operating these systems for years to come, they have several things to consider if called...
09.09.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Washington courts continue to expand policyholder access to insurer files
The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company, and its lawyers, recently had a rough couple of days in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. On August 24 and 25, that court issued orders in Meier v. The Travelers Home & Marine Insurance Co. and Bagley v. Travelers Home & Marine Insurance...