Nat’l Surety Corp. v. Westlake Invs., LLCAnnotate this Case
Developers and a general contractor of an apartment complex purchased a primary commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy from Arch Insurance Group and an excess CGL insurance policy from National Surety Corporation (NSC). Westlake Investments, LLC, which purchased the complex, sued the insureds for construction defects. Arch defended the suit on behalf of the insureds, and the parties eventually settled. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the insureds assigned their claims against NSC on the excess CGL policy to Westlake. Thereafter, NSC initiated this declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that it had no obligation to pay any portion of the judgment awarded to Westlake. Westlake counterclaimed for breach of contract. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Westlake, concluding that property damage resulting from defective work performed by an insured’s subcontractor may constitute an accident that qualifies as an occurrence covered by the Arch policy, and therefore, the NSC policy. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Westlake. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that defective workmanship by an insured’s subcontractor may constitute an occurrence under the terms of the Arch policy incorporated by reference into the NSC policy.