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Court Decisions

Clear as mud: Is a home owner a “contractor”?

Clear as mud: Is a home owner a “contractor”? Gary Gustafson operated a business called Gustafson Excavating and Septic Systems. He was hired by Andrew Aho to perform landscaping and drainage work around a pond on Aho’s residential property. Gustafson was insured under a commercial general liability policy issued by Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company. Aho, who was watching Gustafson’s employee clear brush near the pond with a brushhog, was injured when a

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No payoff for parsing policy

No payoff for parsing policy On February 18, 2011, John Cernogorsky, an employee of The Green Companies, was injured when struck by an automobile while he was walking in front of The Green Companies’ offices on the way into the building. The car that struck him was driven by an underinsured motorist. After Cernogorsky demanded and received payment up to the $100,000 policy limits of the motorist who struck him, he

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Faxing fracas

Faxing fracas The Siding & Insulation Company appealed the trial court’s decision to grant a motion for summary judgment by Acuity, A Mutual Insurance Company, and to deny Siding & Insulation’s motion for summary judgment in this declaratory judgment action. The declaratory judgment action followed from a settlement that was reached in The Siding & Insulation Co. v. Beachwood Hair Clinic, Inc., a class action suit. In the underlying case,

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Sad slab story

Sad slab story Miguel and Annette Maspons owned a house that was built in 1957 on a poured concrete slab. Sanitary drain lines for the house were located under the slab and made of cast iron pipe. In December 2010, the Maspons noticed that their kitchen sink was draining slowly. On February 8, 2011, they hired Water Leak Detectors, which determined through underground videography that a break or failure existed

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Good faith claim goes bad

Good faith claim goes bad On September 6, 2009, Jack and Caroline Brockway discovered that a hole had been cut in their fence and that property had been stolen from their back yard. They reported the theft to the police and, on September 8, 2009, called their Allstate agent to inform him of the theft. After their initial contact with the agent, the Brockways discovered that additional property was missing,

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