(Part IV): Minnesota CGL: Getting a Handle on Large Construction Defect Claims


This post (Part IV) is a continuation of my multiple part series “Minnesota CGL: Getting a Handle on Large Construction Defect Claims.” (You may want to read the prior posts in this series to catch up).   This post addresses the specific requirements of the typical “insured contract” coverage afforded under a subcontractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy. 

The standard CGL policy contains contractual liability coverage protecting the subcontractor against indemnity claims in certain situations. Absent an applicable exclusion, tort liability assumed by the subcontractor falls within the broad insuring language of the standard CGL policy, which obligates the subcontractor’s insurer to “pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ to which this insurance applies.”  The tort liability one party assumes from another party generally constitutes “damages because of” bodily injury or property damage. See, e.g., Federated Mutual Insurance Company v. Concrete Units, Inc., 363 NW2d 751,757 (Minn. 1985) (“[w]e conclude that the most sensible reading of the underscored phrase, “damages because of * * * property damage,” requires the insurer to pay all damages which are causally related to an item of “property damage” which satisfies either of the policy’s definitions”).

 While CGL policies exclude (eliminate) coverage for bodily injury or property damage resulting from “[l]iability assumed under any contract or agreement,” certain types of agreements (defined as “incidental contracts” or “insured contracts” under CGL policies) are excepted (carved-out) from the exclusion.  The standard CGL policy protects the subcontractor against liability “[a]ssumed in a contract or agreement that is an ‘insured contract’ provided the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ occurs subsequent to the execution of the contract or agreement.”  See e.g., Soo Line Railroad Co. v. Brown’s Crew Car of Wyoming, 694 N.W.2d 109, 115 (Minn. Ct. App. 2005); American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. American Girl, Inc., 673 N.W.2d 65, 79-81 (Wis. 2004) (discussing the history of the contractual liability exclusion and overruling prior case law holding that “insured contracts” were not covered); United States Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Continental Cas. Co., 353 Ark. 834, 120 S.W.3d 556, 561 (Ark. 2003) (discussing policy language and holding that “insured contracts” are covered); BP Oil Co. v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., Inc., 329 S.C. 631, 641, 496 S.E.2d 35, 40-41 (Ct. App. 1998) (insurer obligated to pay where named insured assumed liability under “insured contracts”). The “insured contract” exception to the contractual liability exclusion of the CGL policy restores the coverage that would otherwise be available under the broad insuring language of the policy.

It is important to recognize that the “insured contract” provisions of a CGL policy do not extend insured status to the general contractor. See, Hurlburt v. Northern States Power Co., 549 N.W.2d 919, 923 (Minn. 1996). A subcontractor’s agreement to procure and maintain contractual liability insurance is not an agreement to insure the general contractor.  Id.  Additional insured coverage for the general contractor will be addressed in subsequent posts.  

Some of the specific rules relating to the standard “insured contract” coverage provisions are as follows:

First, courts generally construe “insured contract” provisions broadly in favor of the named insured. Mid-Continent Cas. Co. v. Swift Energy Co., 206 F.3d 487, 492-493 (5th Cir.2000); Golden Eagle Ins. Co. v. Insurance Co. of the West, 99 Cal. App. 4th 837, 121 Cal. Rptr. 2d 682 (4th Dist. 2002). However, the determination of whether the subcontractor’s insurance policy protects the subcontractor against an indemnity claim is, in the first instance, dependent upon the language of the underlying indemnity agreement. See, Seward Housing Corp. v. Conroy Bros. Co., 573 N.W.2d 364, 365-368 (Minn. 1998 (“the language of the subcontract itself defines the nature of the insurance [the subcontractor] was obligated to provide”) (citing R.E.M. IV, Inc. v. Robert F. Ackermann & Assoc., Inc., 313 N.W.2d 431, 434-35 (Minn.1981)).  See also, 7A Appleman, Insurance Law and Practice, § 4497.02, p. 128 (1979) (when a policy is “written to cover liability [of the insured] imposed by contract,” the determination of “[w]hether an insurer is obligated under its policy to indemnify its insured depends on the indemnification or hold-harmless agreement executed by its insured”). 

Second, the underlying indemnification agreement must be legally enforceable.  As noted in previous posts, an agreement to indemnify a general contractor is unenforceable under Minn. Stat. § 337.02 unless coupled with a contractual promise to purchase insurance to cover the subcontractor’s indemnity obligation. Minn. Stat. § 337.05.   Along the same lines, the indemnity agreement must not violate public policy.  In D.W. Hutt Consultants, Inc. v. Construction Maintenance Systems, Inc., 526 N.W.2d 62 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995), the general contractor, Hutt, entered into a standard subcontract agreement with CMS.  An employee of Hutt fell of a ladder at work and sustained injuries.  The employee filed a workers’ compensation claim against Hutt, but Hutt had no workers’ compensation insurance, so benefits were provided by the Special Compensation Fund.  The workers’ compensation court ordered Hutt to reimburse the Special Compensation Fund and pay the employee’s attorney’s fees.  Hutt, in turn, commenced a suit against CMS seeking indemnification under the subcontractor for the payments Hutt made to the Special Compensation Fund and attorney’s fees.  The Court of Appeals determined that the indemnity agreement did not apply.  It distinguished Holmes v. Watson-Forsberg Co., 488 N.W.2d 473, 475 (Minn. 1992) by noting that “[h]ere the general contractor is not seeking indemnification from the subcontractor for tort liability related to the subcontract work; rather the general contractor is seeking indemnification for expenses related to a workers’ compensation claim by an injured employee where it failed to meet its statutory duty to acquire workers’ compensation insurance.”  Id. at 65.  The court ultimately concluded that public policy prevented Hutt from shifting its statutory responsibility to purchase workers’ compensation insurance under the Workers Compensation Act by use of the indemnification agreement. Id. at 66. 

Minnesota courts have also recognized that one party may not seek indemnification for breach of non-delegable duties or for conduct which could give rise to an award of punitive damages.  See e.g., Lake Cable Partner v. Interstate Power Co., 563 N.W.2d 81, 86 (Minn. Ct. App.1997), review denied  (Minn. July 10, 1997) (finding company not liable for indemnification of utility for utility’s conduct that would warrant award of punitive damages); Maverick Financial Group, Inc. v. State Bank of Loretto, 2002 WL 31749161 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).

Third, as noted in previous posts, the named insured subcontractor must assume the general contractor’s tort liability to third parties in order for “insured contract” coverage to apply. Richmond & Black, Expanding Liability Coverage: Insured Contracts and Additional Insureds, 44 Drake L. Rev. 781, 784 (1996) (“[T]he insured must assume the other contracting party’s tort liability to third parties in order for insured contract coverage to attach”).  If the subcontractor did not promise to indemnify the general against the latter’s tort liability in writing, the “insured contract” provisions will not apply.  The Minnesota Supreme Court addressed such a situation in Hurlburt v. Northern States Power Co., 549 N.W.2d 919 (Minn. 1996).  In that case, a rider to the standard subcontract agreement only obligated the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor “to the extent that injury or damage [was] attributable to the negligence . . . of subcontractor.” Id. at 922. This language, “converted the agreement “from an agreement to indemnify [the general contractor] for all damages . . . without regard to fault and to procure and maintain insurance to fund that undertaking, to an agreement by [the subcontractor] to be responsible for injury or damage attributable to its own . . . negligence . . . and to procure and maintain insurance to pay [the subcontractor’s] liability for its fault . . .”.  Id. at 922-23.  Because the jury in Hurlburt determined that the subcontractor was free of fault for the accident (the injured employee and general contractor were 15% and 85% at fault, respectively), “there was no basis either for imposing liability [on the subcontractor] or for calling upon [its] insurer for payment of sums for which [the general contractor [was] liable.” Id. at 923. Stated another way, because the rider did not require the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor for the latter’s fault, the indemnity agreement did not constitute an “insured contract” under the subcontractor’s CGL policy – the subcontractor did not “assume the tort liability” of another party. 

A similar result was reached in Katzner v. Kelleher Construction Co., 545 N.W.2d 378, 381 (Minn. 1986). There, the court held ambiguous language requiring indemnification for claims “regardless of whether or not it is caused in part by a party indemnified,” explaining that it could be read in two different ways: either as an agreement to indemnify [the general contractor] from all claims regardless of who is at fault, or as an agreement to only indemnify [the general contractor] from claims caused ‘in whole or in part by any negligent act or omission of the [subcontractor],’” Id. at 382. The court further held that an agreement obligating the subcontractor to “purchase and maintain comprehensive general liability insurance as will protect himself, the Design/Builder . . . from claims . . . which may arise out of or result from the [subcontractor’s] operations under the Contract . . .,” only required the subcontractor to obtain insurance for the subcontractor’s own negligence, not the general contractor’s negligence. “This language [did] not require Kelleher and Spancrete to purchase insurance for claims arising out of Ellerbe’s operations, Ellerbe’s acts or Ellerbe’s omissions.”

Fourth, the typical indemnity clause requires a causal relationship between the subcontractor’s work and the injury or damage in order for the indemnification obligation to be triggered.  Most indemnity clauses extend to liability “arising out of” the services or goods which are the subject of the contract.  The “arising out of” language does not require that the subcontractor be the “cause” of the injury or damage in the sense of tort causation. Rather, such “arising out of” clauses require a “temporal, geographical, or causal nexus between the indemnitor’s [subcontractor’s] work and the injury which gives rise to liability.”  National Hydro Sys. v. M.A. Mortenson Co., 529 N.W.2d 690, 693 (Minn. 1995).  See also, Anstine v. Lake Darling Ranch, 233 N.W.2d 723 (Minn. 1975), overruled on other grounds, Farmington Plumbing & Heating Co. v. Fischer Sand and Aggregate, Inc., 281 N.W.2d 838, 840 n. 4 (Minn. 1979).  Fossum v. Kraus-Anderson Const. Co., 372 N.W.2d 415, 418 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985).  A geographic connection will exist between the work and the injury if the injury is sustained on the job site, regardless of its cause.  Fossum v. Kraus-Anderson Const. Co., 372 N.W.2d 415, 418 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985). A temporal nexus will exist when, for example, a worker’s injury occurs while the worker is preparing for work, or in the process of working.  Id.  Minnesota courts have further held that a causal connection will not exist between the subcontractor’s work and the injury which gives rise to liability unless the specific actions upon which the plaintiff’s claim is based were the responsibility of the indemnitor (i.e., subcontractor), not some other party. See e.g., National Hydro Sys. v. M.A. Mortenson Co., 529 N.W.2d 690, 693 (Minn.1995) (“Because [plaintiff’s] claim against HDR arises out of HDR’s conduct in regard to its own portion of the work and not Mortenson’s portion of the work, we find that the . . . indemnity provision does not apply . . .”); Christensen v. Corporate Property Investors, 1999 WL 410355 (Minn. Ct. App. 1999) (genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether liability for slip and fall arose out of, or related to, duties undertaken by janitorial service company in vendor agreement).  

Fifth, if the indemnity agreement does not specifically require indemnification for  damages occurring after the subcontractor has completed its work on the project, the “insured contract” provisions may not apply. The court may reach this conclusion by holding that the causal relationship test (described above) has not been satisfied and/or that the indemnity obligation does not pass the strict construction test (described in previous posts).  In either event, the subcontractor has no liability for the losses and thus the insured contract provisions will not come into play. The seminal case on the issue is R.E.M. IV, Inc. v. Robert F. Ackermann & Assoc., Inc., 313 N.W.2d 431, 434-35 (Minn.1981).  There, R.E.M. brought an action against Buhler, the general contractor, and Norcol, the subcontractor, for property damage and lost profits caused by the freezing and bursting of fittings on the sprinkler system in R.E.M.’s commercial buildings.  Buhler had entered into a subcontract agreement with Norcol to complete the sprinkler.  The subcontract form used was the 1974 edition of Associated General Contractors of Minnesota Standard Subcontract Agreement. The two buildings were completed on December 1, 1977, and Norcol’s work on the sprinkler system was accepted as complete on that date.  One week later, on December 7, 1977, water froze in the sprinkler system, bursting one of the tee fittings and causing water damage to R.E.M.‘s building. On January 9, 1978, a second fitting burst, causing further damage. Later, R.E.M. brought suit alleging that the “building was negligently and defectively designed and constructed in such a way that it allowed cold air to enter the building and freeze the pipes.” Buhler tendered its defense to Norcol based on Paragraph 7 of the subcontract, which stated:

To obtain, maintain and pay for such workmen’s compensation insurance as may be required by the General Contract or by law, comprehensive general liability insurance, comprehensive automobile liability insurance, protecting the Subcontractor against claims for bodily injury or death or for damage to property occurring upon, in or about the Project, with limits in amounts at least equal to the greater of those specified in the General Contract or those specified below: 

The Subcontractor agrees to assume entire responsibility and liability for all damages or injury to all persons, whether employees or otherwise, and to all property, arising out of it, resulting from or in any manner connected with, the execution of the work provided for in this Subcontract or occurring or resulting from the use by the Subcontractor, his agents or employees, of materials, equipment, instrumentalities or other property, whether the same be owned by the Contractor, the Subcontractor or third parties, and the Subcontractor agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Contractor, his agents and employees from all such claims including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, claims for which the Contractor may be or may be claimed to be, liable and legal fees and disbursements paid or incurred to enforce the provisions of this paragraph and the Subcontractor further agrees to obtain, maintain and pay for such general liability insurance coverage as will insure the provisions of this paragraph.

Norcol refused to accept the defense tender, claiming that because the installation of the sprinkler system had been completed and accepted prior to the freezing of the pipes in the sprinkler, the indemnification requirement of Subdivision 7 was not applicable. Norcol interpreted the contractual language “the execution of the work provided for in this Subcontract” to require indemnification only for damage occurring while the subcontract work is in progress, and not cover damage occurring after completion of the work.

The Minnesota Supreme Court in Ackermann noted that the determination of whether a subcontractor is obligated to indemnify the general contractor for damages “arising out of . . . resulting from or in any manner connected with, the execution of the work provided for in this Subcontract,” required two separate determinations: (1) for whose negligent acts causing damage is indemnity promised? and (2) what is the scope of the area in which indemnity is available? Id. at 433.  As to the first issue, the court noted that it had previously interpreted the indemnity language of Subdivision 7 to require that a subcontractor indemnify the general contractor even for damages caused by the general contractor’s own negligence. Id. at 433 (citing Johnson v. McGough Construction Co., Inc., 294 N.W.2d 286 (Minn.1980); Jacobson v. Rauenhorst Corp., 301 Minn. 202, 221 N.W.2d 703 (1974); Christy v. Menasha Corp., 297 Minn. 334, 211 N.W.2d 773 (1973)).

As to the second issue, the Ackermann court held that “[o]nly those damages and injuries “arising out of . . . , resulting from or in any manner connected with, the execution of the work provided for in this Subcontract” are within the contractual indemnity. The precise issue was “whether the indemnity agreement also applies to damages and injuries which occur after the completion of the subcontractor’s work.” Id. at 433. For several reasons, the court held it did not.  First, under the strict construction test, Norcol would be required to indemnify Buhler for damage that occurred after the subcontract work was completed only if the contract expressly provided for such indemnification.  It did not. Second, in Anstine v. Lake Darling Ranch, 305 Minn. 243, 233 N.W.2d 723 (1975), the court held that this contractual language required indemnification by the subcontractor “only where there is a temporal and geographical or a causal relationship between the subcontractor’s work and the injury giving rise to the liability.” 305 Minn. at 249, 233 N.W.2d at 727. The causal connection was lacking because there was no temporal or geographical relationship, since Norcol had completed its work prior to the time at which the damage occurred. Third, the court noted that the concluding phrase of the sentence compelling indemnity required the subcontractor “to obtain, maintain and pay for such general liability insurance coverage as will insure the provisions of this paragraph.” This language was insufficient to require the subcontractor to obtain completed operations insurance.  Relying on Security Insurance Co. of Hartford v. Kaye Milling Supply, Inc., 297 Minn. 348, 211 N.W.2d 519 (1973), the “language in the indemnity provision requiring general liability insurance but not completed operations insurance suggests the intent of the drafters of the subcontract to require indemnity only while the work was in progress. Once the work of the subcontractor has been completed, the contractor is responsible for his own acts.”  Id. at 435.  In conclusion, the court noted that the under the standard form agreement drafted by the Associated General Contractors, the subcontractor “intends only to provide protection for the general contractor while the work of the subcontract is being performed, and certainly does not anticipate long term contractual liability for the general contractor’s own negligence in the future after the subcontract is completed. The subcontractor does not intend to indemnify the contractor forever. Logic requires the conclusion that only damage occurring during the performance of the work of the subcontract is within the intended coverage of the indemnity provision.”  Id. at 435-36.  As a result, the indemnity provision was not enforced. “If the subcontractor is to assume risks for acts not under his control, the subcontractor must be put on notice by clear and unambiguous language.” Id

A similar result was reached in Seward Housing Corp. v. Conroy Bros. Co.,  573 N.W.2d 364, 365-368 (Minn. 1998).  In that case, the owners of an apartment building contracted with Conroy Brothers to install a new exterior wall system for the building. Conroy subcontracted with Right-Way to provide caulking, sealing, and other services in connection with the installation of the wall system. Right-Way worked on the project between 1984 and May 4, 1986, when it last worked on the project. Seward Housing Corp. (Seward) purchased the apartment building in 1990. In April 1993, a large chunk of the exterior wall fell to the ground. Seward subsequently commenced an action against Conroy Brothers, among others, alleging negligence in the construction of the wall system. Conroy Brothers, in turn, brought a third-party claim against Right-Way. Seward settled with Conroy Brothers for $400,000 and Conroy Brothers, relying on a provision in the subcontract that required Right-Way to obtain a liability insurance coverage policy, sought  $250,000 from Right-Way, the amount representing the property damage limit of the liability insurance policy Right-Way contracted to procure. Right-Way never purchased such a policy.

 The relevant language in the subcontract agreement between Conroy Brothers and Right-Way provided:

The Sub-Contractor agrees to assume entire responsibility and liability for all damages or injury to all persons, whether employees or otherwise, and to all property, arising out of, resulting from or in any manner connected with, the execution of the work provided for in this Sub-Contract or occurring or resulting from the use by the Sub-Contractor, his agents or employees, of materials, equipment, instrumentalities or other property, whether the same be owned by the Contractor, the Sub-Contractor or third parties, and the Sub-Contractor agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Contractor, his agents and employees from all such claims including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, claims for which the Contractor may be, or may be claimed to be, liable, and legal fees and disbursements paid or incurred to enforce the provisions of this paragraph, and the Sub-Contractor further agrees to obtain, maintain and pay for such general liability insurance coverage as will insure the provisions of this paragraph. 

This indemnity language tracked the language of the Association of General Contractors of Minnesota (AGC) standard subcontract. The Minnesota Supreme Court analyzed identical language in Johnson v. McGough Constr. Co., 294 N.W.2d 286, 288 (Minn.1980), concluding that it “necessarily includes claims of the contractor’s negligence.”

The issue before the court in Seward was whether the disputed claim would have been covered by the “general liability insurance” policy Right-Way was obligated to purchase under the subcontract.  Relying on R.E.M. IV, Inc. v. Robert F. Ackermann & Assoc., Inc., 313 N.W.2d 431, 434-35 (Minn.1981), the Seward court held that the claim would have fallen outside the scope of such a policy because it involved a completed operations loss, stating: “A general liability insurance policy provides coverage only for losses occurring during the performance of the work of the subcontract . . . the property damage did not occur until at least a year after any Right-Way employees worked on the construction project, and [thus] any claims asserted in this regard would fall within completed operations coverage not contemplated by the subcontract.” Seward at 368.

In Modern Piping, Inc., v. Blackhawk Automatic Sprinklers, Inc., 581 N.W.2d 616 (Ia. 1998), arising from a sprinkler system that erupted after Modern Piping, the sprinkler system subcontractor had completed its work, the Iowa Supreme Court reached the same conclusion as the Minnesota Supreme Court in Ackermann and Seward. In this case, the subcontract agreement obligated Modern Piping “to obtain, maintain and pay for such general liability insurance coverage as will insure the provisions of this paragraph.”  Id. at 625. The precise indemnification language did not reveal a clear intention to require the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor against completed operations losses.  Relying on Ackermann, the Iowa Supreme  Court noted that the “requirement that [the subcontractor] maintain only general liability insurance . . . is indicative of the parties’ intent that the indemnity provision was only intended to provide coverage while the work of the subcontract was being performed.”  Id. at 626. 

More recent subcontract agreements address this issue by obligating the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor against damages that occur “before or after” the subcontractor has completed its work or specify that the subcontractor also obtain and maintain completed operations coverage. See e.g., Christenson v. Eagan Companies Inc., Minn. Ct. App. A09-1539 (unpublished, June 1, 2010) (subcontract language obligated subcontractor to “obtain, maintain and pay for such Commercial General Liability insurance, including contractual liability and completed operations coverage as will insure the provisions of this paragraph to the fullest extent available”). This additional language may be found in the boilerplate indemnity clause of the contracto or, more frequently, in an attached rider to the subcontract.  As noted R.E.M. IV, Inc. v. Robert F. Ackermann & Assoc., Inc., 313 N.W.2d 431, 436 (Minn.1981), if the general contractor wants to be indemnified against completed operations losses, the subcontractor must be put on notice of such an obligation “by clear and unambiguous language.”

Sixth, the general contractor need not be found negligent in order to trigger the typical indemnity clause.  The typical indemnity clause obligates the subcontractor to indemnify the general contractor for any claims which the general contractor “may be or may be claimed to be” liable.  Under this language, a finding of negligence against the general contractor is not required. See e.g., Van Vickle v. C.W. Scheurer and Sons Inc., 556 N.W.2d 238, 241 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996) rev. denied (Minn. March 18, 1997); Christenson v. Eagan Companies Inc., Minn. Ct. App. A09-1539 (unpublished, June 1, 2010) (language obligating subcontractor to indemnify general contractor for “claims for which [the general contractor] may be or claimed to be liable,” required indemnification without regard to fault and thus duty to indemnify was not contingent on apportionment of fault).  

Seventh, with regard to multiple count complaints, it is important to bear in mind that the “insured contract” coverage only applies to those claims that fall within the definition of an “insured contract”.  Some lawsuits may allege multiple claims against the indemnitee that would subject the subcontractor to liability, but only some of the claims may fall within the “insured contract” definition. As noted above, the CGL policy excludes coverage for all “[l]iability assumed under any contract or agreement” except “insured contracts” which, in this context only embrace “[t]hat part of [a] contract or agreement . . . under which you assume the tort liability of another.”  Thus, it is important to distinguish between indemnity claims based on tort (within the “insured-contract” exemption), or contract (outside the “insured-contract” exemption).  

Eighth, the foregoing discussion addresses insured contract coverage under the “standard” insured contract provisions of the CGL policy.  It is, of course, important to review the entire policy to determine whether the policy provisions have been changed or amended in some fashion.  In 2004 (the same time as ISO amended the additional insured endorsements such as CG 20 10), ISO introduced an endorsement which amended the “insured contract” definition.  ISO endorsement CG 24 26 only affords coverage for assumed tort liability in situations where the indemnitor (subcontractor) or anyone acting on its behalf causes the injury or damage in whole or in part.  In the typical case, if the subcontractor is not at least one percent at fault, the insured contract provisions will not apply. 

Stated another way, the contractual liability insurance coverage afforded under the  subcontractor’s CGL policy only applies to an indemnity clause which qualifies as an “insured contract.” Conversely, if an indemnity clause does not qualify as an “insured contract,” the subcontractor’s CGL will not respond to the subcontractor’s obligations, despite the fact that the subcontractor would still be required to indemnify the general contractor. Thus, if the subcontractor’s CGL policy is endorsed with this type of endorsement, the coverage may be insufficient to match the subcontractor’s indemnity obligation, leaving the subcontractor exposed to a suit for breach of contract for failing to obtain the coverage promised in the subcontract.  

Finally, it is important to recognize that other policy exclusions may bar coverage for the claim of the general contractor.   The insured contract exception only operates to restore the coverage available under the insuring clause which would otherwise be excluded by the contractual liability exclusion.   There may be other exclusions which come into play. 

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Mr. Johnson has represented CGL insurers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in large commercial and multi-unit residential construction defect claims for twenty years. He successfully handled the seminal construction defect case in Minnesota, Wooddale Builders, Inc. v. Maryland Cas. Co., 722 N.W.2d 283 (Minn. 2006), and has authored several articles on insurance coverage for construction defect claims including Contractual Risk Transfer, Hold Harmless and Indemnity Agreements and Additional Insured Coverages (Wells Fargo March 15, 2009) and Liability Allocation Issues: “Other Insurance” & the Wooddale Home Builder Construction Decision (Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association Insurance Law Institute, Jan. 25, 2007). 

This blog is for informational purposes only.  By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed.  The law is constantly changing and if you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. © All rights reserved. 2010.

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