Insurance Coverage

Our lawyers have extensive experience in prosecuting insurance coverage claims arising in connection with construction and engineering projects, including claims for coverage for catastrophic loss, construction defects, design errors, force majeure events and engineering defects. The firm has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, project managers, construction managers and engineers in obtaining coverage under builders all-risk, construction all-risk, professional, commercial general liability, ocean marine cargo, bridge and tunnel, DSU (delay-in-startup), consequential loss, efficacy, subguard, prime guard and excess insurance policies. We also have extensive experience prosecuting insurance coverage claims under owner controlled insurance programs and contractor controlled insurance programs.

Briefly discussed below are some of our representative engagements.

  • We represented the owner of a power project against its ocean marine insurer on a delay-in-start-up claim. Power plant equipment was damaged during shipment from Japan to the United States when the vessel transporting the equipment encountered a typhoon. The owner incurred additional costs to mitigate resultant delays. The insurer denied coverage and filed a declaratory judgment action alleging that the owner failed to obtain a survey warranty. Upon the owner’s motion for summary judgment, the trial court held that the owner’s claim was covered under the applicable policy. The trial court’s judgment was affirmed on appeal. See Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. v. Black & Veatch, 362 F.3d 1108 (8th Cir. 2004).

  • As a result of several coverage lawsuits, we recovered for a Project Manager on a steel mill construction project over $45 million under project, primary and excess professional insurance policies. The amounts recovered for the Project Manager were for costs to defend and settle claims of an owner resulting from the abandonment of the project by an unrelated design-build contractor who had made design errors in the initial bid estimate. The professional insurers also paid the Project Manager more than $5 million for fees and costs for its employees to serve as experts and to assist with discovery in the lawsuits.

  • We prosecuted coverage lawsuits for an EPC contractor against builders risk, professional and general liability insurers for claims arising from alleged defects to a coke oven battery. We obtained insurance recoveries in excess of $15 million for defense costs, a settlement payment and bad faith. As a result of the insurance recoveries, the EPC contractor was able to settle the defective construction claims without making any contribution. Also, the EPC contractor recovered its attorneys’ fees, expert fees and other defense costs.

  • On behalf of a public owner, we prepared, negotiated and settled on favorable terms a $100 million claim for coverage under a bridge and tunnel all-risk insurance policy arising from a concrete ceiling collapse on a mega-infrastructure project.

  • In connection with a power plant project, we prosecuted and successfully resolved on behalf of an owner claims for coverage arising from engineering errors and omissions.

  • DFL Legal also has experiece with boiler and machinery claims and reinsurance claims arising out of various industrial projects.