Insights
Firm News

Farella Defeats Builder's Risk Insurer's Defense in Lawsuit Brought on Behalf of Webcor-Obayashi Joint Venture

August 5, 2020 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel has obtained a favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granting partial summary motion and clarifying a legal doctrine for its client Webcor-Obayashi Joint Venture in its lawsuit against its builder's risk insurer arising out of the discovery of fractures in steel girders at the Salesforce Transit Center in September 2018. 

Zurich American Insurance Company—relying on California's seminal Supreme Court case (Prudential-LMI Commercial Insurance v. Superior Court)—denied coverage because the fractures were not discovered, and therefore did not "manifest", until after the builder's risk policy had ended, even though the damage undisputedly had occurred while the insurance policy was still in effect.

The district court agreed with the joint venture that Prudential-LMI's "manifestation" rule only governed coverage for progressive loss that occurred over multiple policy periods. The court thus found that the doctrine was unavailable here as a basis to deny coverage where the loss had occurred entirely within Zurich's policy period even though it was discovered later.

Farella lawyers representing the joint venture include Amy B. Briggs and Nathan Anderson.

The case is Webcor-Obayashi Joint Venture v. Zurich American Insurance Company, Case 3:19-cv-07799-SI. Read the ruling, here.

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain offices in the Napa Valley that are focused on the wine industry.

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433 / [email protected]

Firm Highlights

Publication

Disaster Matters: Property Insurance and the Wine Industry

Farella's Alexis Sinclair with guest speakers: Marc Levine from California's 10th Assembly District, Michael Miiller from California Association of Winegrape Growers, Mike Ryan from InterWest, and Jed Taborski from Silicon Valley Bank, discuss "Disaster Matters...

Read More
News

Erica Villanueva Inducted Into American College of Coverage Counsel

Read More
Publication

How to Guard Against 3 Cannabis Cyber Attack Risks

Cyber attacks are now commonplace. Ransomware attacks, in particular, have skyrocketed in frequency and size. High-profile data breaches have cost businesses in the United States millions of dollars in losses and incalculable reputational harm...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces Five New Partners

Read More
Publication

Mitigating the Uncertainty of Smoke Taint in Wine Grapes

Smoke taint has dominated the worries of the California wine industry recent years. With unsettled climate conditions and continued droughts, there is no reason to think that smoke taint will not continue to be...

Read More
Event

Cyber Liability Insurance Simplified

Tyler Gerking is a speaker on the "Cyber Liability Insurance Simplified" webinar hosted by Newfront. Session Overview: Cyber attacks reached record numbers in both intrusions and cost in 2021. Cyber criminals are extremely sophisticated, making it difficult...

Read More
Publication

In Verizon Decision Careful Review of Insurance Policies Expands Coverage

In Verizon Communications Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa ., the Delaware Superior Court ruled that Verizon was entitled to a defense under its D&O policy for fraudulent transfer claims. Although...

Read More
News

Calif. Wineries Prep for Coverage Fight for Wildfire Smoke

Tyler Gerking spoke to Law360 for the article "Calif. Wineries Prep for Coverage Fight for Wildfire Smoke."  An insurance recovery partner, Tyler said he has heard from many wineries and vineyards that have voiced concerns...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Earns 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" Rankings

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel earned national and regional rankings across several practice areas in the 2022 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® "Best Law Firms." The U.S. News...

Read More
Publication

Cyber Insurance for the Cannabis Industry

Farella's Shanti Eagle (moderator), Nate Garhart and Tyler Gerking, along with guest speakers Javier Gonzalez and Michael Peters from PL Risk Advisors, discuss "Cyber Insurance for the Cannabis Industry." Cannabis businesses have cyber security...

Read More