February 20, 2018 Practice Points

Inability to Prove Damages Precludes Insurance Coverage for Homeowner Who Prevailed on Defects Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a District Court’s ruling that homeowners could not recover from a contractor’s insurer because the verdict had not proven which damages were covered under the insurer’s policy.

by Rebecca Woods

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a District Court’s ruling that homeowners who prevailed against a contractor for defective work could not recover from the contractor’s insurer because the verdict had not proven which damages were covered under the insurer’s policy.

In Uvino v. Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company, 708 Fed. Appx. 16 (2017), the homeowners (Uvinos) had hired J. Barrows, Inc. (JBI) to manage the construction of their home. The Univos fired JBI for poor work and sued JBI. JBI’s commercial general liability insurer, Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company provided a defense and, in the course of the litigation, sought to intervene so that it could establish which of the complained-of defective work was covered (damage to other property), and which defective work was not covered (defective work by JBI). JBI opposed the intervention claiming a conflict of interest; the Uvinos took no position. Harleysville’s motion was denied and it reserved its right to contest coverage later in the proceeding.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now