Many, many projects require the use of a crane. The skyline is oftentimes filled with the sight of cranes—one after the other. Most of the time, the cranes are leased from an equipment supplier. What happens if the crane (or any large, leased equipment) gets damaged?
I wrote an article regarding a builder’s risk carrier NOT covering damage to a crane from a storm based on a common exclusion. Another case, Ajax Bldg. Corp. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 358 F.3d 795 (11th Cir. 2004), had a similar result.
In this case, a prime contractor leased a crane from an equipment supplier. The crane was used by the structural concrete subcontractor. The crane collapsed during the subcontractor’s work. The supplier sued both the contractor and subcontractor. The prime contractor was defended under a contractor’s equipment liability policy and the subcontractor was defended under a general liability policy it procured for its work on the project. Ultimately, a settlement was reached where the subcontractor’s liability insurer paid a bulk of the damage.