Federal Court Holds That Other Insurance Analysis Is Unnecessary If Policies Cover Different Risks

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Attorney Craig Rokuson analyzes Greater Mutual Insurance Company v. Continental Casualty Company

September 28, 2020
Craig Rokuson - Traub Lieberman Insurance Law Blog

In Greater Mutual Insurance Company v. Continental Casualty Company, 2020 WL 5370419 (S.D.N.Y. September 8, 2020), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider the “other insurance” provisions of a commercial general liability policy, issued by Greater Mutual Insurance Company (“GNY”), and a directors and officers (“D&O”) policy, issued by Continental, to the same insured. The GNY policy covered, inter alia, property damage caused by an occurrence, as well as “personal advertising injury,” defined to include “[t]he wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor.” The Continental D&O policy covered claims for wrongful acts, including “wrongful entry or eviction, or other invasion of the right to private occupancy. . . .” Unlike the GNY policy, however, the Continental policy expressly excluded coverage for damage to tangible property.

In the underlying action, the plaintiffs alleged that the insured engaged in construction work to fix a leak from a terrace on the seventeenth floor. In doing so, the insured accessed the plaintiffs’ roof terrace. The plaintiffs alleged that the construction workers installed and stored construction materials on the roof terrace, making the plaintiffs unable to access the terrace. Plaintiffs also alleged that their deck furniture may have suffered damage, and that the workers had a “direct line of sight” into their unit, resulting in the plaintiffs having to leave their unit frequently. Causes of action were for property damage, constructive eviction, partial constructive eviction, and invasion of privacy.

Mr. Rokuson may be contacted at crokuson@tlsslaw.com



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