Burden to Prove Exception to Exclusion Falls on Insured

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Attorney Tred R. Eyerly analyzes Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co.

April 19, 2022
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

In a dispute between two insurers, the Ninth Circuit relied upon Nevada law in finding that the burden of proving that an exception to the exclusion applies was on the insured. Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 1626 (9th Cir. Jan. 20, 2022).

Ironshore insured seven subcontractors. The policy included an exclusion providing there was no coverage for any property damage for the subcontractors' for "work performed prior to the policy inception." An exception to the exclusion provided that the exclusion did not apply to property damage that was "sudden and accidental and takes place within the policy period."

The seven subcontractors were sued for work they had performed. Zurich defended and indemnified the subcontractors. Zurich then sued Ironshore seeking contribution and indemnification for defense and settlement costs. The parties stipulated that all construction work at issue had been completed before the inception of Ironshore's policy and that none of the complaints against the subcontractors alleged that sudden and accidental damage had occurred after the inception of Ironshore's policy.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com


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