Given the underlying allegations of damage to personal property, the court determined the insurer had a duty to defend. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London v. Metropolitan Builders, Inc., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 979 (Ill. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2019).
Metropolitan was hired as the general contractor for construction, renovation and demolition at contiguous properties - the 1907 Property, 1909 Property, and 1911 Property. During construction activities, the structures on the 1907 Property and 1909 Property collapsed. The existing structures on the properties were later deemed unsafe and were demolished by the city of Chicago.
AIG insured the owner of the buildings and paid over $1.8 million for repairs and associated expenses arising from the collapse. AIG then invoked its rights of subrogation against Metropolitan by filing suit. Metropolitan tendered the suit to its insurer, Lloyd's, who denied coverage and filed for a declaratory judgment. The trial court found the underlying complaint alleged property damage, but not an occurrence. Summary judgment was awarded to Lloyd's.