A federal appellate court changed a lower court on Tuesday, ruling that an insurer must defend a roof manufacturer in litigation where the company's roof membrane system is alleged to have caused further damage to a Bronx high school.
The dispute stems from an underlying lawsuit. filed by the Archdiocese of New York and other plaintiffs against parties including Dallas-based Siplast Inc., which had sold a roof membrane system to a Bronx high school in 2012, according to the judgment of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Siplast Inc. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Company. Siplast gave a 20-year guarantee for the work, it was stated in the judgment.
In November 201
After Des Moines-based Employers Mutual Casualty refused to defend it in litigation, Siplast filed a lawsuit against the insurer in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, accused of breach of contract.
The district court granted the EMCC's request for summary judgment, and held that a "Your product / your work exclusion" in its commercial general liability coverage applied.
A three-judge appeals court panel overturned the verdict. The allegations “that are relevant in this case can largely be reduced to a single question: Does the underlying complaint contain allegations of damage to property other than Siplast's roof membrane as part of the action against Siplast? Liberally interpreted, it does, "said the verdict,
" The actual allegations raised by the complaint repeatedly point to damage to property other than Siplast's roof membrane system, "the verdict said, considering that the exclusion did not apply, which repealed the lower
Siplast lawyer Steven J. Pudell, a senior shareholder in Anderson Kill PC in Newark, New Jersey, said in a statement, "We are pleased that the 5th Circuit recognized
Insurance lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
In November, a federal appellate court changed a lower court. and ruled in favor of a Great American Insurance Group unit in a dispute with Employers Mutual Casualty over coverage in an unlawful death process.