Construction Defect Claim Denial Attorney

Experienced Construction Defect Claim Denial Lawyers Serving California

We Use Innovative Legal Strategies To Fight Construction Defect Claim Denials

For many years, Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP, has represented general contractors, building supply manufacturers, property developers, and others in cases involving coverage for construction defects claims in California. Today, our Construction defect claim denial attorney is applying a legal concept of “All Sums”, which we have used with great success in maritime litigation, to construction defects law.

Applying The “All Sums” Concept To Construction Defect Law

In both types of litigation, the damage occurs gradually over an extended period of time. During that time, a company may have policies from many insurance companies. Yet according to California “All Sums” law, any one of these numerous insurance companies can be held responsible for paying all sums — the total amount of the claim — despite the face that the loss implicates many policy periods.

One of our recent successes on this issue involved a condominium complex in Hawaii, which began suffering water losses due to corrosive soils that caused pinhole leaks in underground copper piping. These water losses were continuous and progressive and were covered by a Builder’s Risk policy with a Homebuilder’s Limited Warranty coverage. However, the insurer attempted to avoid coverage by claiming that multiple self-insured retentions (“SIRs”) must be satisfied before coverage applied. We successfully argued that only a single SIR needed to be exhausted under a single policy before the insurer was responsible for covering the entirety of this continuous and progressive water loss. Critical to this issue was the fact that each policy covered “All Sums” relating to a particular occurrence.

In a similar case, we represented a builder of a condominium complex whose tie-down straps allegedly failed due to a construction defect. A Construction Defect Claim Denial Attorney will be able to successfully handle those insurance claims by compelling the insurer to contribute significant sums toward the settlement of those claims under a single policy after satisfaction of a single SIR.

Other Construction Defect Cases

In a recent case, we represented the owner of a San Francisco Hotel that was under construction and suffered severe water losses when an atmospheric river caused flooding to multiple levels of the hotel. The damages were extensive and resulted in substantial delay to the opening of the Hotel. The insurer claimed that the “critical path” delays were minor and refused to pay the full value of the business interruption portion of the claim. We were able to achieve a successful result by compelling the insurer to pay another $5,000,000 in damages.

We also represented a building supply manufacturer who often is one of the numerous parties that gets sued when a construction project begins to show signs of defects. Often 10 to 20 years have passed from completion of the project to the date the construction defect complaint is filed. Our client is involved in roughly 100 lawsuits with damages totally about $60 million. We have successfully navigated this client through these lawsuits to secure the insurance coverage that is owed to them.

Our Construction defect claim denial attorney in California successfully argued that any one of the insurance policies that were in place during that time period can be called upon to pay all sums — the entire $60 million construction defect claim against our client. Further, we contended that only one $2 million out-of-pocket payment to satisfy the policy SIR must be paid. Application of the “All Sums” concept allowed our client to select the year when it had the most insurance coverage available.

The insurance companies’ lawyers, by contrast, argued that the $60 million in losses must be spread over 20 years and in each of those years, and that our client must pay $2 million out of pocket SIR in each year, even though total losses may be only $2 to $3 million. In essence, this approach would have left our client without any coverage, while our application of the law would provide more than $60 million in coverage.

Contact Our Construction Defect Claim Denial Attorney

If your construction defect insurance claim was denied or if you would like to discuss new approaches to resolving construction defect claims, please call our office at (415) 433-8000 or contact us via email. In addition to working on the insurance issues, we frequently advise and work with the attorneys on the underlying case.

From offices in San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid, we represent clients with complex insurance issues throughout California.