Insurer Not Required to Defend Contractor Against Affirmative Defense, 5th Cir. Affirms

  • Opinion

TAMPA, Fla. — Westfield Insurance Co. has no duty to defend a contractor against an affirmative defense levied by a subcontractor in a breach of contract action because the policy only covers “suits” for property damage, and the subcontractor only sought to offset the amount of damages the contractor alleged it was owed, a federal appellate panel has affirmed.

In a Jan. 14 opinion, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel explained that the policy’s coverage language was “clear and unambiguous.”

In May 2009, The Diaz Fritz Group Inc. was performing contracting work at the University Community Hospital Carrollwood …


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