Westfield Ins. Co. v. Custom Agri Sys., Inc.Annotate this Case
Younglove Construction entered into a contract with PSD Development for the construction of a feed-manufacturing plant. When PSD withheld payment, Younglove brought this diversity suit against PSD and three other defendants. In its answer, PSD alleged it had sustained damages as a result of defects in a steel grain bin constructed by Custom Agri Systems, Inc. as a subcontractor. Younglove filed a third-party complaint against Custom Agri Systems, Inc. for contribution and indemnity. Custom turned to its insurer, Westfield Insurance Company, to defend and indemnify it in the litigation. Westfield intervened to pursue a judgment declaring it had no such duty under the terms of its commercial general liability (CGL) policy with Custom. At issue was whether the claims against Custom sought compensation for "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" under the policy. The district court granted summary judgment for Westfield. On appeal, the federal court of appeals certified questions of state law to the Supreme Court. The Court answered by holding that claims of defective construction or workmanship brought by a property owner are not claims for "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" under a CGL.