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They go against the risk retention group in the event of construction death



A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling against a risk retention group that has been waiting more than two years to seek a verdict seeking a waiver on the death of a construction worker.

In December 2015, Luis Alberto Pomboza Chicaiza was working on a construction project in a building owned by New York-based Ingrid House LLC when a wall collapsed and he fell to his death from its fourth floor, according to the decision of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York i Golden Insurance Co. v. Ingrid House LLC.

Ingrid House had a general commercial liability policy issued by Golden Insurance Co., a risk retention group incorporated in Nevada with its principal operations in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The policy, according to which Golden Insurance agreed to pay damages for bodily or property damage, included recommendations that exclude coverage for earth movements and for work on the building̵

7;s exterior that was higher than three storeys.

After Mr. Chicaiza’s estate filed a lawsuit in state court in connection with his death, Golden Insurance issued a letter in January 2018 agreeing to provide a defense, but reserved the right to waive coverage.

Golden Insurance filed a lawsuit in the New York District Court in New York more than two years later in February 2020, requesting a declaration that based on the recommendations that there was no coverage under the insurance, that it could withdraw from defending the underlying lawsuit. and that Ingrid House must reimburse it for all fees, costs and expenses to provide a defense.

The district court ruled against the risk retention group and was determined by a unanimous panel of three judges.

New York’s insurance laws “require a prompt disclaimer of coverage in” insurance cases involving deaths and bodily injury claims arising out of a New York accident and covered by a New York liability policy, “the ruling said.

Here, Golden Insurance waited two years after finding out the underlying lawsuit to waive coverage for damages resulting from the accident, although the minutes reflect that “the basis for the disclaimer was, or should have been, easily apparent” in January 2018 if not earlier ”, it said, to confirm the lower court’s decision.

Ingrid House lawyer Neal Fellenbaum, from Zegen & Fellenbaum in New York, said the verdict was “absolutely correct. They did not abide by the law. They should have turned down at the right time several years ago. They did not, and it caused huge prejudices against my client. ”

Golden Insurance’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.


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