Not All Property Damage Construction Disputes Are the Same

November 14, 2012

A post on the Swanson Midgley, LLC blog looks at the limits of a commercial general insurance policy, arguing that the “seminal” case on the subject is Weedo v. Stone-E-Brick, Inc., decided by the New Jersey Courts in 1979. The Weedo decision gave the example of badly applied stucco, and if the problem is only the peeling and chipping “the poorly-performed work will perforce have to be replaced or repaired by the tradesman or a surety.” The more important point was “should the stucco peel and fall from the wall, and thereby cause injury to the homeowner or his neighbor standing below or to a passing automobile, an occurrence of harm arises which is the proper subject of risk-sharing as provided by the type of policy before us in this case.

Moving on from the 1970s, the post then examines the recent case of Big Construction v. Gemini Insurance, which was decided this year in the State of Washington. Here, more than thirty years later, the courts are considering “whether the alleged damages constitute ‘property damage,’” nothing that “a general liability policy is not intended to encompass the risk of an insured’s failure to adequately perform work.”


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