Insurers Must Protect Insured Entities

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n insurance, in writing and open-ended other insurance endorsement that allowed his insurance, by entering into contracts that the insurer will be obliged to provide protection to people unknown to the insured and did not want his insured to get insurance. acceptance of contracts or requiring its insurer to disclose information about third parties or requiring named insureds to name them as additional insureds. The insurer assumed the responsibility of providing protection to certain unknown and unnamed beneficiaries.

In Westfield Insurance Company v. Walsh/K-Five Jv (I-14-4208); Walsh/K-Five Jv (I-14-4209); Walsh Construction Company Ii, Llc/K-Five Construction Company Jv, a Joint Venture; Walsh Construction Company II, Llc; K-Five Construction Corporation; Arch Insurance Company; and Royce Brown, Plaintiffs, Walsh/K-Five JV (I-14-4208), Walsh/K-Five JV (I-14-4209), Walsh Construction Company II, LLC/K-Five Construction Company JV, a Joint Venture, Walsh Construction Company II, LLC, and K-Five Construction Corporation, 2022 IL App (1st) 210802-U, No. 1-21-0802, Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division (August 17, 2022) forced the insurer to fulfill its obligations.

EVENTS

Westfield Insurance Company (Westfield) filed a motion seeking to declare that it was not liable to defend or indemnify the defendants in a personal injury case that occurred at a construction site where Walsh and K-Five worked together. In the main case, Royce Brown (Brown), an employee of VMR Contractors, Inc. (VMR), a construction site worker, injured himself while carrying rebar.

The trial court found that Westfield had a duty to defend everyone and denied Westfield’s motion to avoid its duty to defend itself.

Walsh entered into two joint contracts with K-Five to award two separate contracts from the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, which involved lane widening and bridge reconstruction work on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. In addition, the Joint Venture, Walsh (if K-Five was named as an insured) and K-Five (if Walsh was named as an insured) were to be named as additional insureds in the commercial insurance. “For reasons arising from the performance of the Insured Party’s Services.

Westfield policy

In consideration of VMR’s obligations under the subcontracts, it obtained a policy from Westfield that contained commercial insurance with a term of one year. For all claims, VMR is listed as insurance. Section II of the Commercial General Liability Coverage Form was titled “Who Is An Insured” according to the following: “Any entity that you acquire or create a new one, other than a partnership, partnership or limited liability company, and in which you retain ownership or majority interest. , will be eligible to be Named Insured if there is no other similar insurance available from that organization” according to the three conditions listed.

Misdemeanor Injury

After VMR secured commercial insurance, it began work on the construction of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. In September 2015, Brown was working as a steelworker on a VMR construction project. While Brown was carrying the rebar by hand from the designated area, he injured himself. In August 2017, Mr. Brown filed three negligence claims against Walsh, K-Five and Joint Venture for injuries he suffered while carrying rebar.

ENJOYMENT

Westfield argued that K-Five and the Joint Venture could not be considered additional insureds under the VMR and Westfield policy because there was no written agreement that required VMR to add K-Five or the Joint Venture to the policy as additional insureds. In addition, Westfield argued that, even if K-Five or the Joint Venture could be treated as an additional insured, its exclusion from the policy would negate that coverage. Finally, Westfield argued that the termination of the contract was also applied to Walsh and ignored the potential. Accordingly, Westfield argued that it had no duty to defend Walsh, K-Five or the Joint Venture, and the district court’s various rulings should be reversed.

Coverage under the Policy

A clear statement by the Illinois Appellate Court LaGrange Memorial Hospital v. St. Paul Insurance Co.317 Ill.App.3d 863, 870 (2000), discussing the duty of insurers to impose on themselves the obligation to protect unknown parties called insureds who wrote additional contracts as additional insureds:

When writing this language, [the insurer] agreed and agreed that the insureds would enter into the same contracts [the insurer] will be forced to provide security ***. [The insurer] he did not want his insurance to be found [the insurer’s] the contractor’s consent or require its insurer to disclose third party information or demand that [named insured] refer to the groups as additional insurances. [The insurer] thus he took the responsibility of providing protection to some unknown and unnamed people.

This is what happened in this case. Because the clear language of the Contractors Endorsement dictates that the endorsement does not apply to “any person or entity furnished as additional insurance to any other endorsement heretofore or hereafter incorporated,” the waiver of the endorsement therein did not negate the provision of Walsh, K- Five or Joint Venture, as additional insurances under Additional Insurance Supplements.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of Walsh Construction Company II, LLC, granting partial judgment on the complaint, awarding defendants Walsh/K-Five JV (I-14-4208), Walsh/K-Five JV ( I-14-4209 ), Walsh Construction Company II, LLC/K-Five Construction Company JV and K-Five Construction Corporation granted summary judgment and denied Westfield Insurance Company’s motion for summary judgment where plaintiff had standing to defend .

Insurers who give their pen to others have realized that the decision was expensive. For this reason, the insurance agent gave the insured that he has the right to make everyone who made other insurances with him. In doing so, Westfield gave up its right to underwrite its policy of insuring and found that it was the insured to a number of people who did not know, after issuing the policy, that it had insured. Cases like this should make insurers reconsider whether they have enough money to cover the risk they allow their insured to have by contracting with others.

(c) 2022 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to working as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance litigation, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He has practiced law in California for over 44 years as an insurance and claims attorney and over 54 years in the insurance business. He can be reached at zalma@zalma.com.

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