In its recent decision in Evanston Ins. Co. v. Yeager Painting, LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130316 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 3, 2018), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama had occasion to consider an insured’s reporting obligations under a general liability policy.
Evanston’s insured, Yeager, was hired to sandblast water tanks, and in turn, subcontracted out the work to a third party. On May 19, 2012, an employee of the subcontractor was severely injured in connection with a work-site accident. It is not entirely clear when Yeager provided notice of occurrence to Evanston, although Evanston advised by letter dated January 30, 2013 that it would be further investigating the matter subject to a reservation of rights. Evanston subsequently denied coverage by letter dated April 10, 2013, the disclaimer based on a subcontractor exclusion on the policy. Notably, Evanston’s letter advised that Yeager should immediately contact Evanston if any facts changed or if it had any additional information concerning the matter.