Chris Pickett and Haley Loutfy Win Summary Judgment Against Additional Insured who Breached Notice Condition
Chris Pickett and Haley Loutfy obtained summary judgment against an additional insured who voided coverage by violating the policy’s notice of suit condition. The case arose from a construction site injury involving a Plaintiff who sued multiple contractors, one of whom qualified as an additional insured on our client’s policy. After learning of the lawsuit on its own roughly one year after it was filed, LPP’s client wrote to the additional insured to confirm it was not seeking our client’s involvement in the defense. The additional insured responded that, indeed, it expected LPP’s client to provide a defense. We filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the additional insured breached the notice of suit condition in the policy and voided coverage. The additional insured responded that the original complaint did not trigger our client’s coverage and, moreover, our client had actual notice of amended pleadings shortly before the additional insured requested a defense. Despite this argument, the additional insured’s TPA had tendered the claim pre-litigation.
On this record, the court held that the additional insured had a duty to notify LPP’s client of the original complaint and, moreover, that the pre-litigation letter from the additional insured’s TPA demonstrated that the additional insured suspected the claim was potentially covered by our client’s policy. The court held that the additional insured’s failure to provide notice of the underlying complaint or to otherwise correspond with our client for a year violated the policy’s notice of suit condition and voided coverage. The court entered summary judgment in favor of LPP’s client, holding that it did not owe defense or indemnity to the additional insured.