Brian H. Sanchez, Partner, Wins Summary Judgment in Coverage Action Arising Out of Wrongful Death Lawsuit

On August 22, 2019, Brian H. Sanchez obtained summary judgment in favor of an insurer that had issued a commercial general liability policy to a demolition subcontractor. The dispute arose out of a construction accident on December 26, 2013, which resulted in the death of one demolition subcontractor employee and injuries to another employee. The general contractor (“GC”) tendered its defense and indemnity to the demolition subcontractor’s insurer, and the insurer denied coverage contending that the GC was not an additional insured on the date of accident. The insurer then filed suit for declaratory judgment against the GC, seeking a declaration that it owed no duty to defend or indemnify the GC for the two lawsuits arising out of the accident. During the pendency of the coverage action, the GC settled the underlying lawsuits for $6 million. The insurer and GC filed cross motions for summary judgment. The Circuit Court of Cook County granted the insurer’s motion and denied the GC’s motion, finding the insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify the GC. The court reasoned that the policy was clear and unambiguous that the general contractor did not become an additional insured until three weeks after the accident.

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