A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court decision in favor of a WR Berkley Inc. entity in a coverage dispute with a developer in which the insurer said there was no claim under its property policy because nothing had inadvertently occurred.  Wheeling, West Virginia-based GC&P Development LLC was sued by nearby neighbors of a property on which the company operated, including commercial timber and / or quarry development, according to court documents in Nautilus Insurance Co. v. GC&P Development, LLC et al.
Nautilus, a unit for surplus and surplus in Berkley, brought an action before the U.S. District Court in Clarksburg, West Virginia, seeking a declaration that it had no obligation to defend or reimburse companies claiming to have engaged in illegal timber business. and fraudulently concealed development plans from the city of Wheeling, West Virginia.
Nautilus mainly argued that it had been an incident according to its policy, the district court said. The court agreed. The crucial question, it is said, "is whether any of the property damage alleged in the underlying complaint was due to an incident", which the policy defines as an accident.
"Neither the means nor the outcome of the alleged events were unforeseen. Nor unexpected," the decision states.
"First, a brief examination of the complaint also clarifies that the alleged" means "by which damage is alleged to have occurred" were the defendant's intended development activities on the property.
"Second, the underlying plaintiffs clearly claim" results ", that is, property damage, foreseen or expected" by the defendants.
"Since the underlying complaint relates only to damage caused by the intended activities," no incident has occurred, which is
A panel of judges at the Fourth District Court in Richmond, Virginia, confirmed the lower court in a brief statement, stating that it agreed that it had not been an event that triggered coverage.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to a request for comment.