Steven Plitt, Expert Witness Steven Plitt, Expert Witness
Insurance Bad Faith Claim Handling Expert Serving Clients Nationwide

February 2019 Archives

In Louisiana, Insurers Are Not Vicariously Liable For The Negligence Of A Roofer Who Was Provided To The Insured Under The Insurance Company's "Direct Repair Contractor Program"

In Rubin v. American Insurance Co., 193 So. 3d 408 (La. App. 2016), American Insurance Company had a direct repair contractor program which was a list of approved contractors. If the insured used one of the approved contractors, the program provided that AIC would "be responsible" for the roof it provided. In this case, the insureds agreed to use the approved contractor provided by AIC to repair a roof damaged by a hail storm. The insureds alleged that the roofer was negligent when it removed the roof, but did not adequately protect the roof thereafter, nor did the approved contractor return to the job for several days while it was raining. It was alleged that mold grew in the house because of this negligence. The insureds sued AIC, alleging that AIC was responsible for the contractor's negligence under theories of vicarious liability or joint venture. The case was tried to a jury, which rendered a verdict in favor of the insureds, although the jury found that the insurance company was not, itself, negligent. The trial court then granted AIC's motion for a directed verdict as to the complaint.

The Ohio Supreme Court Broadly Interprets An Abuse Or Molestation Exclusion, Finding That It Could Apply Vicariously

In World Harvest Church v. Grange Mutual Casualty Co., 148 Ohio St. 3d 11, 68 N.E.3d 738 (Ohio 2016), reconsideration denied, 146 Ohio St. 3d 1473, 54 N.E.3d 1270., the Ohio Supreme Court upheld an abuse or molestation exclusion in a CGL policy which stated that there was no coverage under the policy for abuse or molestation "by anyone." The Court found the policy language to be simple and unambiguous. The Court found that the language of the policy excluded coverage for abuse "by anyone," including any liability premised upon the negligent employment, supervision, or retention of persons who committed the abuse or molestation.

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