Articles Tagged with Construction

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In 1173, builders broke ground in Pisa, Italy, on the Torre de Pisa (that is, the Tower of Pisa). At over 183 feet, it was to be a grand statement—remember, this was 1173, not 2016.

Torre Inclinada de Pisa

But the story is not all roses. The tower began immediately to tilt—by the time they started laying just the second floor of the tower, it was leaning. Thus, it earned the name we all now know (and love?), “Torre pendent di Pisa”—the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Wikipedia explains, “[t]he tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.” The tower now leans over 12 feet from the vertical axis.

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Insurance covers the unexpected. Courts sometimes struggle to assess what an insured did expect, didn’t expect, or sometimes, should have expected. Contractors, construction firms and others should bear this in mind in their daily operations and when seeking a defense from their insurance companies.

In Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ryan Stevens Construction, Inc. the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah recently held that a contractor’s commercial general liability insurance carrier had no iStock_000088282803_Medium-track-hoeduty to defend a contractor who should have expected property damage resulting from its use of certain equipment on a construction project. The decision cautions contractors around the country to consider the expected consequences of their on-site actions to avoid arguments from insurers that any resulting damages are not accidental.

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