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An ambiguity in an insurance policy–after reading and interpreting the policy as a whole–will be construed against an insurer. This means an ambiguity will be construed in favor of insurance coverage (for the benefit of the insured) as opposed to against insurance coverage. This does not mean that every insurance policy contains an ambiguity.
Hurricane Irma barreled down on us with all of her forceful winds and torrential rains. She was scary and relentless. There was mass evacuation. Commercial flights were booked. Trains were booked. There was gridlock with the concern as to whether gas would even be available. There were many people that did not evacuate, uncertain as to the eventual path Irma would take.
In prior articles, I reinforced the importance of general contractors including “primary and noncontributory” language in subcontracts and requiring the subcontractor to provide an analogous “primary and noncontributory” endorsement. As a general contractor this is important, particularly since you are going to require the subcontractor to (i) indemnify you for claims relatin ...
There is exclusionary language in all insurance policies (as you know) that can operate to bar coverage. In a recent case example, a company performed maintenance and construction services and had a company automobile liability insurance policy. The policy, however, excluded from coverage automobiles where there was OTHER INSURANCE available that afforded SIMILAR COVERAGE.
Does your construction contract require you to arbitrate (instead of litigation) disputes arising out of the contract? If so, and you want to arbitrate, you do NOT want to do anything inconsistent or adverse with your right to arbitrate. Arbitration can be waived and you do not want arbitration to be waived if you believe this is the best forum to resolve your construction dispute.
An interior designer that provides residential interior design services does NOT need to be registered or licensed with the state. On this point, Florida Statute s. 481.229(6)(a) specifies: (6) This part shall not apply to: (a) A person who performs interior design services or interior decorator services for any residential application, provided that such person does not ...
A new appellate decision came out discussing the statute of limitations associated with a negligence claim against a property appraiser. In this case, Llano Financing Group, LLC v. Petit, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2071a (Fla. 1st DCA 2017), the court held that the four year statute of limitations for negligence claims commences when the lender relied on the appraisal to fund the loan.
Referral sources are generally important for all businesses. Due to their importance, certain businesses require employees to execute non-solicitation or even non-compete agreements to protect the integrity of their referral sources. Now, whether referral sources for a particular business constitutes a legitimate business interest (very important words) is a question where ...
What do you do if you are holding undisputed money owed to a subcontractor? Well, you make an effort to pay it or tender it! Right? I am never a fan of a client holding undisputed sums without a legitimate contractual basis. There are circumstances, however, where the effort to pay an undisputed payable is not so easy.
We now know and can appreciate the threat of hurricanes. Not that we did not appreciate the reality of hurricanes–of course we did–but Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma created the type of actual devastation we fear because they hit close to home. The fear came to life, creating panic, anxiety, and uncertainty.
As an insured, know YOUR rights under Florida’s Claims Administration Act (Florida Statute s. 627.426). I wrote an article on this exact topic. If a third-party claim is asserted, or in the process of being asserted, against you, do yourself a favor and consult a lawyer that can assist you with preserving your insurance coverage rights.
Since I wrote my ebook on the application of federal Miller Act payment bonds, I have not discussed a case applying the Miller Act. Until now! Below is a case that reinforces two important points applicable to Miller Act payment bond claims. First, the case reinforces what a claimant needs to prove to establish a Miller Act payment bond claim. Very important.
If your construction company is bonded, then you have signed a General Agreement of Indemnity with your surety / bonding company. Stated another way, if a surety issued an obligee on behalf of your construction company, as the bond-principal, a payment or performance bond, then you have signed a General Agreement of Indemnity with your surety.
In insurance coverage declaratory relief actions, there are times an insured will argue that the insurance policy coverage is illusory. Typically, an insured will raise this illusory argument if its insurer is denying coverage based on an exclusion or limitation in the policy. If a court agrees and deems the coverage illusory, the court will construe the policy to afford cove ...
Destructive testing is a routine investigatory procedure in construction defect disputes. The destructive testing is necessary to determine liability (causation), the extent of damage, and the repair protocol. Destructive testing is designed to answer numerous questions: Why did the building component fail? Was the building component constructed incorrectly? What is the magni ...
When an owner receives a construction lien, an owner should serve the lienor with a Request for Sworn Statement of Account. The Request for Sworn Statement is authorized by Florida Statute s. 713.16(2) and should be in the following form: REQUEST FOR SWORN STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT WARNING: YOUR FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUESTED STATEMENT, SIGNED UNDER OATH, WITHIN 30 DAYS OR TH ...
The good ole duty to defend. Certainly, a duty that should not be overlooked. A commercial general liability insurer has two duties to its insured when it comes to third-party claims: 1) the duty to defend its insured and 2) the duty to indemnify its insured. The insurer’s duty to defend its insured will always be broader than its duty to indemnify because this duty is tr ...
Construction contracts oftentimes and should contain conditions precedent to payment. Conditions precedent apply to both progress payments and final payment. The conditions precedent operate such that payment is NOT due until the conditions are satisfied. The satisfaction of the conditions precedent triggers the payor’s obligation to pay.
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