Connecticut Supreme Court Finds Duty to Defend When Case Law is Uncertain

Question marks on cement

The Court suggested that an insurer, in these circumstances, should defend the insured, and should seek a declaratory judgment from a court as to whether coverage is owed.

October 12, 2020
Eric B. Hermanson & Austin D. Moody - White and Williams

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently addressed whether an insurer has a duty to defend when faced with legal uncertainty as to whether coverage is owed: for example, when there is no Connecticut case law on point, and courts outside of the state have reached conflicting decisions.

The Court suggested that an insurer, in these circumstances, should defend the insured, and should seek a declaratory judgment from a court as to whether coverage is owed.

The issue in Nash St., LLC v. Main St. Am. Assurance Co.,[1] arose out of a home collapse in Milford, Connecticut. The owner of the home (Nash) hired a contractor (New Beginnings) to renovate the home. New Beginnings, in turn, retained a subcontractor to lift the house and to do concrete work on the foundation. While the subcontractor was lifting the house, the house shifted off the supporting cribbing and collapsed.

Reprinted courtesy of Eric B. Hermanson, White and Williams and Austin D. Moody, White and Williams

Mr. Hermanson may be contacted at hermansone@whiteandwilliams.com
Mr. Moody may be contacted at moodya@whiteandwiliams.com



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