Hinkhouse Williams Walsh

HWW Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment in Construction Defect Coverage Litigation.

HWW attorneys filed a declaratory judgment action against a plumbing contractor seeking defense and indemnity coverage for defective plumbing work performed during a renovation project of a commercial property in Chicago.  The insured’s defective work consisted of installing water mains and other piping at the property.  The construction plans called for the installation of 6” pipes.  Rather than comply with the construction plans, the insured instead installed 3” inch pipes that were in violation of the Chicago municipal regulations.  The owner of the property filed a lawsuit against the insured to compel the insured to pay for the repair and replacement of the pipes that were not in compliance with the applicable regulations. 

The insured sought insurance coverage to defend the lawsuit and possibly to indemnify it for the removal and replacement of the piping.  On the advice of HWW attorneys, the insurer denied coverage and filed a declaratory judgment action requesting the court to declare that the insurer did not have a duty to either defend or indemnify the insured.  HWW filed a motion for summary judgment contending that the insured was not entitled to any coverage under the CGL policy on the grounds that the underlying lawsuit did not allege “property damage” or an “occurrence” as those terms were defined in the insurance policy.  The trial court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of HWW’s client.