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03.03.2016 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Deep In Repose: New Decision Clarifies Longstanding Confusion
Last month, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision with important implications for construction litigation. Ball Janik attorneys were heavily involved in the appeal to the Supreme Court. In Shell v. The Schollander Companies, Inc., 358 Or 552 (2016), the court held that where a home is constructed without a contractual relationship between its builder and...
02.25.2016 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Florida Court of Appeals again holds that insureds may assign rights under a policy after a loss occurs.
Last year, I wrote about a decision by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (link here) holding that an insured, post-loss, could assign its claim against its homeowner’s insurance policy. Recently, the same issue was before the Second District. In Bioscience West, Inc. v. Gulfstream Property & Casualty Ins. Co., Bioscience West, Inc. (“Bioscience”) performed...
11.24.2015 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Oregon Federal District Court Applies Recent Developments in Common Law Indemnity to Strict Product Liability Claims
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued Eclectic Investment, LLC v. Patterson, 357 Or 25, 346 P3d 468, modified, 357 Or 327 (2015). Eclectic has fundamentally affected pleadings and third-party practice in multi-party tort actions. Previously, it was standard for third-party defendants without a contractual relationship to sue each other for common law indemnity and contribution. Where...
11.20.2015 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Oregon Supreme Court eases the path to hold insurers accountable for bad-faith practices
Yesterday the Supreme Court of Oregon overruled Stubblefield v. St. Paul Fire & Marine (1973) and paved the way for a more commonsense approach to negotiating stipulated judgments. Stipulated judgments have been a well-worn, though somewhat perilous, mechanism for insureds to resolve liability claims against them when their insurers defend in bad faith. In doing...
11.12.2015 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Oregon Court of Appeals Reaffirms that Engineer Lien Claimant Must Provide Notice of Right to Lien to Perfect and Foreclose Lien
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently issued a decision confirming the pre-lien notice requirements necessary to perfect a lien in Oregon. The case, known as Multi/Tech Engineering Services, Inc. v. Innovative Design & Construction, LLC, 274 Or App 389 (2015), discussed whether a lien recorded by Multi/Tech for engineering services could be foreclosed where Multi/Tech...
11.05.2015 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Across the Spectrum: Utah’s Recent Move Toward a Proper Interpretation of “Occurrence” In Commercial General Liability Policies
Fortunately for Utah policyholders, a recent District of Utah decision has continued the trend toward liberalizing Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) coverage in Utah. In The Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Spectrum Devel. Corp, the District of Utah held that defective construction can be an “occurrence” so as to trigger coverage under a CGL policy. CGL policies...
11.03.2015 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Nevada Joins States Protecting Insureds from Lawyers Serving Two Masters
Nevada recently became the latest jurisdiction to protect the interests of policyholders by adopting the so-called Cumis counsel rule. In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen (Sept. 24, 2015), the Nevada Supreme Court held that insurers are required to pay for independent counsel for insureds facing liability claims when there is a conflict of...
10.29.2015 // CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH
Just What Is a Capital Improvement and Does a Judgment Against an HOA Have Preclusive Effect on the HOA'S Directors and Members?
Recently, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a decision that may have far reaching impacts for communities looking at whether a particular project constitutes a “capital improvement” under their Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (more commonly known as CC&Rs). The case, known as Eagle-Air Estates Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Haphey, 272 Or App 651 (2015), involved...
10.22.2015 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Federal court applies Oregon statute to approve “good faith” settlement in environmental insurance litigation
Coverage litigation stemming from continuous or progressive property damage or bodily injury claims typically involves multiple insurers that issued liability policies over a number of years. One or more of those insurers may want to settle early, and the policyholder may very well want to take that insurer’s money. Settlement may be complicated, however, by...
10.06.2015 // THE POLICYHOLDER REPORT
Insurer’s claim denial may violate state consumer-protection statutes even when the insurer has no duty to defend
As I wrote in an earlier blog post (see my August 10, 2015 article here), insurers have a duty to defend their policyholders against any potentially covered loss, which means that insurers are required to defend and attempt to settle claims on behalf of their policyholders even when coverage for the underlying claim is uncertain...