Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Appeals Court addresses exclusion for residential construction work

FSS Automatic Sprinkler Corporation subcontracted with CB Construction Company to install fire protection sprinklers at the Stoneleigh Condominium project. The project converted the former Norfolk County Jail into a building of luxury condominium units. (I find that to be the most interesting thing about this case.)

In April, 2003, a sprinkler pipe leaked and caused water damage. FSS's insurer, Tudor, declined coverage, citing an exclusion for residential construction work.

In FSS Automatic Sprinkler Corp. v. Tudor Ins. Co. 77 Mass. App. Ct. 1122, 2010 WL 3629579 (unpublished), the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that the exclusion was ambiguous and therefore does not exclude coverage.

The decision does not quote the entire exclusion, and its discussion of it is so confusing that I can't figure out what the exclusion actually says. (That appears to be a result of the court's drafting, not the policy's.)

So, I can't provide an analysis. If you're dealing with an exclusion for residential construction work, this case might provide guidance in context.

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