On Demand Audio

New Wave of Occurrence as to Property Damage Meets Prior Work and Breach of Contract Exclusions

Produced on September 12, 2019

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Course Information

Time 64 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Insurance Law

Course Description

This program, taught by Andrew Witik, Senior Counsel at Christensen Hsu Sipes, will discuss the current trends in state courts’ interpretation of the defined term “occurrence” in a CGL policy in the context of property damage arising from construction defects resulting from the faulty workmanship of the general contractor or its subcontractors. The doctrine of fortuity and the rationale of noted outliers (such as the Supreme Courts of Kentucky and Ohio finding that faulty workmanship of a subcontractor does not constitute a covered occurrence under the policy) will also be addressed. In addition, the program will identify and discuss how insurers have responded to the trend through the introduction of various prior work and breach of contract exclusions throughout the country.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Review what an “occurrence” has traditionally meant in a CGL policy for construction defects
  2. Analyze recent court rulings interpreting the meaning of occurrence
  3. Identify trends across states
  4. Note insurers response through use of broad breach of contract and prior work exclusions
  5. Apply these trends to advising clients on best practices for these types of policies and claims

Credit Information

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Faculty

Andrew Witik

Christensen Hsu Sipes LLP

Andrew has over 30 years of experience representing insurance companies, corporations, municipalities, and individuals in declaratory judgment actions, contractual disputes, bad faith claims, and appeals in state and federal courts across the United States. In addition to insurance coverage, his emphasis is on construction defect litigation matters. He has successfully litigated Illinois cases of first impression applying the business risk and false pretense exclusions. He also has experience with general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, property, business owner’s, and homeowner’s policies.

Drew has been rated an AV® Preeminent™ lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, representing the recognition of the highest level of professional excellence by his peers. In 2018 and 2019, he was named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the areas of Insurance, Insurance Coverage, and Reinsurance Law.

After law school, Drew served as law clerk to the Hon. Edward J. Egan of the Illinois Appellate Court.

Education

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD
  • Loyola University, BA

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • United States District Courts: Central District of Illinois, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States Court of Appeals: Seventh Circuit

Publications and Presentations

  • “New Wave of Occurrence as to Property Damage Meets Prior Work and Breach of Contract Exclusions,” Lawline Webinar, September 12, 2019
  • “Litigating Complex Construction Defect Case When Your Client No Longer Exists," 4th Annual Midwest Construction Defect & Dispute Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2019
  • "Construction Defect 2018 Case Law Review," Claims & Litigation Management Webinar, February 14, 2019
  • "Occurrence - Where We Have Been - Where We Are Now - Where We Are Heading," Claims & Litigation Management 2018 New York Conference, New York, New York, December 12, 2018
  • “The Impact of Selective Tender and Actual Notice on Additional Insureds in Illinois,” Lawline Webinar, June 12, 2018
  • “Additional Insureds: A Close Look at Recent Litigation Trends,” Lawline Webinar, May 22, 2018
  • “Know Your Business And The Impact of Actual Notice on Additional Insureds in Illinois,” Lawline Webinar, May 19, 2017
  • “Additional Insureds and Risk Transfer in Construction Contracts,” Lawline Webinar, March 27, 2017
  • “Arising Issues with Additional Insureds,” 3rd Annual Intermountain Construction Defect & Dispute Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 3, 2017
  • “Business Owner’s Policies and Transferring Risk” NBI Webcast Seminar, September 14, 2016
  • “Arising Issues Regarding Additional Insureds, Risk Transfer in Construction Contracts and Anti-Indemnity Legislation,” 2nd Annual Midwest Construction Defect & Dispute Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 18, 2016
  • “The Texas Anti-Indemnity Act,” Premier Southwest Construction Defect & Dispute Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 15, 2016
  • “Emerging Issues: High-risk Insurance Coverage Litigation for Lawyers in 2015,” The Knowledge Group Webcast Seminar, October 8, 2015