Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment

Attorneys David Osborne and Chris Pickett won an appeal clearing the path for their client to recover nearly $500,000 in defense fees and indemnity payments from the defendant carrier.  After a construction site accident in 2006, general contractor Alden Bennett Construction Company tendered its defense and indemnity to two different CGL carriers, seeking additional insured coverage under both policies.  Our client, Westfield Insurnace Co., accepted the tender, but the second carrier, FCCI Insurance Co., denied the tender.  Alden Bennett and its own CGL carrier, Mt. Hawley Insurance, also assigned Westfield all of their rights against FCCI.  In the ensuing declaratory judgment litigation, the trial cout entered summary judgment in Westfield's favor finding and declaring that FCCI owed Alden Bennett a defense on a primary and non-contributory basis, that FCCI's ten-month delay estopped FCCI from raising any defense to coverage, and that FCCI had waived all of its defenses to coverage under the policy by failing to disclaim coverage under one of its additional insured endorsements.  The Appellate Court affirmed, noting that Alden Bennett had notice of the claim for almost four years before it filed a complaint for declaratory judgment, had actual notice of the lawsuit for 10 months, and failed to provide any argument in support of its position that it did not owe a duty to defend Alden Bennett.  FCCI Ins. Co. v. Westfield Ins. Co., 2014 IL App (1st) 131598-U.