Third Circuit Holds No Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Despite Insured’s Expectations

Construction workers on job site

Brian Margolies analyzes the case Frederick Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hall.

November 21, 2018
Brian Margolies - TLSS Insurance Law Blog

In its recent decision in Frederick Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hall, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31666 (3d Cir. Nov. 8, 2018), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had occasion to consider Pennsylvania’s doctrine of reasonable expectations in the context of a faulty workmanship claim.

Hallstone procured a general liability policy from Frederick Mutual to insure its masonry operations. Notably, when purchasing the policy through an insurance broker, Hallstone’s principal stated that he wanted the “maximum” “soup to nuts” coverage for his company. Hallstone was later sued by a customer for alleged defects in its masonry work. While Frederick agreed to provide a defense, it also commenced a lawsuit seeking a judicial declaration that its policy excluded coverage for faulty workmanship. The district court agreed that the business risk exclusions applied, but nevertheless found in favor of Hallstone based on the argument that Hallstone had a reasonable expectation that when applying for an insurance policy affording “soup to nuts” coverage, it this would include coverage for faulty workmanship claims.

Mr. Margolies may be contacted at bmargolies@tlsslaw.com



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