The federal district court found that exclusions j (5), (6) and l barred coverage for damage caused to the city’s water main collector system. Sunwestern Contractors, Inc. v. Cincinnati Indem. Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82642 (D. Ariz. May 15, 2019).
Sunwestern contracted with the city of Tucson for the construction of a water main collector system. During the project, Sunwestern conducted a pressure-test of the pipeline when several flanges, which connected the pipe sections, came apart. The flange failure caused water to tear out gaskets, seriously damage the pipeline, components of the pipeline, and surrounding areas. Four million dollars in damage was caused.
Sunwestern had a CGL policy with Cincinnati. Coverage was denied by Cincinnati when it determined there was no “occurrence.”
There was no dispute that the work was faulty. The relevant inquiry was whether Sunwestern’s faulty workmanship resulted in property damage. It was uncontroverted that it did. Improper installation of pipe components led to damage to the pipeline and surrounding areas. The flanges were improperly installed. Sunwestern showed that serious property damage resulted from its defective work and consequential property damage resulting from the faulty work was an occurrence under the policy.
The court then turned to the business risk exclusions. Exclusion j (6) precluded coverage for incorrectly performed work. But the exclusion included an exception for completed operations. Further the exclusion did not exclude coverage for property damage for non-defective property that resulted from faulty workmanship. Thus, while exclusion j (6) unambiguously excluded coverage for damage to the flanges and other incorrectly constructed portions of the pipeline, if they were not “completed,” it did not exclude coverage for consequential damage to non-defective property caused by that incorrectly performed work.
Exclusion j (5) barred coverage for property damage to “that particular part of real property on which you or any contractors or subcontractors working . . . on your behalf are performing operations, if the ‘property damage’ arises out of those operations.” Like exclusion j (6), exclusion j (5) only precluded coverage for work that was still in progress. The court found that exclusions j (5) and j (6) unambiguously precluded coverage for the incident and all residual property damage stemming from the incident. However, exclusions j (5) and j (6) only precluded damage to work that was not yet completed, or still in progress.
Exclusion (l), however, applied, excluding property damage to “work or operations performed by” Sunwestern that was included in the products-completed operations hazard. Consequently, exclusion (l) precluded coverage for Sunwestern’s completed work.
In all, if the work was completed, it was excluded by exclusion (l). If it was not completed, it was excluded by exclusions j (5) and j (6). The products-completed operations hazard provision was still subject to any relevant exclusions and any faulty work that was encompassed in the products-completed operations hazard provision was unambiguously excluded from coverage by exclusion (l).
There was no ambiguity in the exclusions. Exclusions j (5) and j (6) unambiguously precluded coverage for incorrectly performed work. While exclusions j (5) and j (6) did not preclude coverage for incorrectly performed work that was completed, exclusion (l) unambiguously did. Therefore, Sunwestern was not entitled to coverage and Cincinnati’s motion for partial summary judgment was granted.