In a case that squarely confronts the juxtaposition of an insurer’s duty to defend or indemnify its insured for construction related defects, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on both matters against a construction subrogee, in Ass’n Ins. Co. v. Carbondale Glen Lot E-8, LLC, No. 15-cv-02025-RPM, 2016 WL 9735743, at *1 (D. Colo. Oct. 10. 2017).
Mountainview Construction Services, LLC (“MCS”) served as the general contractor for the construction of a residence on a lot owned by Glen Lot E-8, LLC (“E-8”). MCS took out a Commercial General Liability Policy (“Policy”) with Association Insurance Company (“AIC”) that provided coverage to MCS for the relevant time period for the construction of the residence. E-8 then asserted a series of claims against MCS, based on the allegation that MCS and its subcontractors defectively constructed the home by, among other things, building the residence two feet too high in violation of applicable codes. E-8 also argued that MCS and its subcontractors made significant alterations and/or deviations from the original project specifications without obtaining E-8’s consent or approval from relevant authorities. MCS tendered the claim to AIC for defense and indemnity. In turn, AIC declined coverage on the argument that the Policy precluded any coverage for defective work MCS may have performed on the project, absent damage to person or other property.