INSURED ORDERED TO REIMBURSE INSURER $1 MILLION
Underlying Settlement Was Not For An “Occurrence”
On July 29 2014, Orange County Superior Court Judge David Chaffee ordered Moorefield Construction to reimburse Navigators Specialty Insurance Company in full for the $1 million settlement paid in an underlying construction defect case.
The Court determined that the claim settled was not for an accident within the CGL policy definition of “occurrence” and that the insurer was entitled to reimbursement under Blue Ridge v. Jacobsen, 25 Cal. 4th 489 (2001).
The judgment in Navigators v. Moorefield, Case No. 30-2011-00492111 followed a five-day court trial in which Navigators established that to avoid per diem charges for completing the project late, the contractor made a calculated decision to install flooring too soon after pouring the concrete slab. Vapor emissions from the drying concrete caused the flooring to fail.
According to well-known coverage attorney and appellate-specialist-turned-mediator Michael Brady, the insurance industry has not often pursued recovery under Blue Ridge, believing that it cannot win. “This decision shows that insurers have rights and can prevail.”
Partner Robert Sallander and Associate Robin Thornton of Greenan, Peffer, Sallander & Lally LLP represented Navigators.
Statement of Decision
Notice of Entry of Judgment
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