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Firm Prevails on Appeal for Construction Subcontractor and its Insurer

10/23/2014

Heyl Royster represented Central Mutual Insurance Company ("Central") and its insured ("Subcontractor") in a case recently decided in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, in which the general contractor ("Builder") and its insurer, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London ("Underwriters") claimed that Central should have been the primary insurer in regard to coverage for a worker who allegedly sustained severe personal injuries at a home construction site. The dispute arose because, although the Subcontractor was contractually obligated to maintain insurance for the Builder, the subcontractor agreement was silent as to whether the Subcontractor's coverage was to be primary or excess. When Underwriters attempted to tender its defense (and indemnity) to Central, the firm denied the defense tender, and Underwriters filed a law suit for declaratory judgment. At the trial court level, the firm succeeded in getting Central dismissed from the case on motion for summary judgment, and Underwriters appealed. On appeal, the First District agreed with the firm in ruling Central's insurance would be considered excess, and that there would be no duty to defend or indemnify unless the primary limits were exceeded. Brent Swanson and Andy Roth handled the case at the trial level, and Craig Unrath and Natalie Thompson handled the matter on appeal.

Click here to read the full opinion.