The December 2021 First Department decision in Nouveau Elevator Indus. v. New York Marine & General Ins. Co. is pushing some buttons in the elevator industry, given the significant implications it may have on the adequacy of policy limits for elevator service companies operating in New York state.
The Court held in Nouveau that monthly elevator maintenance work performed under an ongoing service agreement is considered “completed operations” for purposes of applying policy limits. Specifically, the Court found that the per location policy limits are not implicated here, and instead held that the products-completed operations aggregate limit applies to completed work, which expressly includes “that part of the work done at a job site [that] has been put to its intended use.”
Facts of the Case
Nouveau provides elevator maintenance and service in the greater New York city region. Its work is done in multiple buildings and locations throughout the city. Nouveau purchased six commercial general liability (CGL) policies from New York Marine for consecutive one-year periods. Each of the CGL policies provides a liability limit of $1 million, with an aggregate limit of $2 million, per accident or occurrence.
Reprinted courtesy of Richard W. Brown, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Sarah J. Markham, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Mr. Brown may be contacted at RBrown@sdvlaw.com
Ms. Markham may be contacted at SMarkham@sdvlaw.com