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Insurance, Risk Management, and Title Insurance

  • October 2020 CALIFORNIA COURTS DELIVER ANOTHER BLOW TO COMMERCIAL POLICYHOLDERS SEEKING BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVERAGE FOR LOSSES CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT-MANDATED “STAY AT HOME” ORDERS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19. Another California court has held that an insurer is not obligated to cover business interruption losses for a policyholder that closed its operations due to the government-ordered shutdown in response to COVID-19.  In Mudpie Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. of America (“Mudpie, Inc.”), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. (“Travelers”) was not obligated to pay a lost income claim by Mudpie Inc. […]

  • If you are an attorney, insurance broker, or other professional representing developers and contractors, then your clients have likely reached out with concerns about losses related to COVID-19.  One common question is whether there is potential coverage under builders risk insurance policies.   The short answer is: It depends. As with most questions pertaining to insurance coverage, the answers depend on the specific policy language and underlying facts required to trigger coverage. Builders risk policies are even more fact specific due to the lack of uniformity of base policy forms and endorsements between insurance carriers.   The first step in […]

  • By now every construction professional has been inundated with articles regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on the construction industry. The sheer volume of information is overwhelming and changes by the hour. This article is intended to summarize key issues affecting construction professionals and serve as a general road map for navigating the crisis.   1.    Determine Project Status The first consideration is whether the construction projects at issue are allowed to proceed given “shelter in place” and related orders. Generally speaking, Governor Newsom has deemed construction to be essential and, therefore, exempt from California’s “Safer at Home” order. There is some debate as to […]

  •  Jason M. Adams discusses the importance of obtaining required specific insurance coverage based on the contract.  Read his article in the March issue of Financier Worldwide Magazine.  Jason M. Adams, Esq. is a partner at Gibbs Giden representing construction professionals (owners/developers, contractors, architects, etc.) in the areas of Construction Law, Insurance Law and Risk Management, Common Interest Community Law (HOA) and Business/Civil Litigation. Adams is also a licensed property and casualty insurance broker and certified Construction Risk & Insurance Specialist (CRIS).  Mr. Adams can be reached at The content contained herein is published online by Gibbs Giden Locher Turner […]

  •     2019 New Insurance Case:  Owners’ Insurance Barred in Reimbursement Action against Tenant. Lesson:  Properly Specifying Insureds Can Avoid Costly Disputes and Litigation. The Western Heritage Ins. Co. v. Frances Todd, Inc. (2019 Cal.App. LEXIS 299 / 2019 WL 1450731) case has potential implications for insurance carriers, policyholders, condominium associations, unit owners, landlords and tenants.  The case involves a fire at a commercial condominium complex (the “Association”).  The Association’s CC&Rs required the Association to purchase a master fire insurance policy for the benefit of the Association and owners, with a waiver of subrogation endorsement that stated the insurance company could […]

  • 2016 In DeSaulles v. Community Hospital (March 10, 2016) case no. S219236, the Supreme Court has weighed in with what it calls a “default” rule regarding which party may be entitled to costs when an action is dismissed by way of settlement. Such a “default” rule in effect overturns the prior holding in Chinn v. KMR Property Management (2008) 166 Cal. App.4th 175, at 185–190. The settlement in Desaulles was made and put on the record during trial as a result of rulings by the Court and included a monetary payment plus the Defendant to prepare a Judgment of Dismissal with prejudice with […]

  • 2015 HARTFORD CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY v. J.R. MARKETING, L.L.C., et al., (Aug. 10, 2015) 190 Cal.Rptr.3d 599, 2015 WL 4716917 The California Supreme Court ruled that Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. can bring a direct action against Squire Patton Boggs LLP to recover some of the $13.5 million it paid the law firm as independent counsel under C.C. Section 2860 (Cumis) to defend its insured against claims that it stole business from a former employer. In Buss v. Superior Court (1997) 16 Cal.4th 35 the Court held that an insurer who must defend the entire action even if some claims are not-covered may […]

  • Joseph M. Giden, Esq. (October 26, 1933 -September 17, 2014) It is with great sadness that the law firm of Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP mourns the death of Joseph M. Giden, a founding partner of the firm and renowned litigator, counselor and mediator in the surety, title insurance and construction industry. He passed away after a brief illness on September 17, 2014, at the age of 80. “Joe Giden was my partner and colleague for more than 25 years, but more importantly he was my friend for more than 55 years,” said Ken Gibbs, co-founder of […]

  • 2014 With facts shockingly reminiscent of egregious conduct criticized thirty years ago in Betts v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 688, a court in Massachusetts recently excoriated AIG Claims Services, Inc. for its bad faith handling of a personal injury lawsuit by finding that AIG hired defense counsel to fabricate a version of the accident that did not happen, improperly coached witnesses to support that version, suppressed recorded statements from the same witnesses which contradicted the version offered at trial, and then filed a meritless appeal. See, Odin Anderson v. American International Group, Inc., Superior Court Civil Action No. 2003-01212-B. After a […]