In PJR Construction of N.J. v. Valley Forge Insurance Company, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127973 (D.N.J. July 31, 2019) (PJR Construction), a New Jersey federal court held that the “j.(5)” “Ongoing Operations Exclusion” applied to bar coverage for property damage to property on which a construction company allegedly performed faulty work. The court’s opinion follows prior New Jersey state court precedent, including Ohio Casualty Insurance Company v. Island Pool & Spa, Inc., 12 A.3d 719 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2011) (Island Pool), but also provides additional guidance on the elements which can make the Ongoing Operations Exclusion applicable to exclude coverage.
In PJR Construction, a commercial property owner engaged a construction company to build a 26,000 square foot swim club and related 3,000 square foot pavilion building in New Jersey. After about 75% of the work was completed, the property owner fired the construction company and denied it access to the property. The owner later sued the construction company in New Jersey state court alleging “shoddy workmanship” in, among other things, sealants, flashing, water resistant barriers, masonry and the handicap ramps. The construction company sought coverage from its CGL insurer, which denied coverage based on, among other things, the j.(5) Ongoing Operations Exclusion. After the denial of coverage, the company sued the insurer in New Jersey federal court seeking a declaration of coverage.
Reprinted courtesy of Anthony L. Miscioscia, White and Williams LLP and Timothy A. Carroll, White and Williams LLP
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