Watson Law Group’s Construction Practice Group has a presence on both coasts and consists of a team of nationally recognized attorneys who focus on three major areas of construction law: litigation defense; subrogation; and coverage. These areas are sometimes distinct and at other times inter-related. Please refer to Recovery and Subrogation for examples of our successes in pursuing recovery from co-defendants and third parties.
We have served as coverage counsel on countless matters for purposes of evaluating the application of CGL policies within the context of faulty workmanship clauses as well various “your work” and “prior work” exclusions. In matters where it is cost effective to the insurer, we may initiate declaratory actions to obtain clear and final determination regarding coverage issues. Recently, we served as coverage counsel for the insurer of a general contractor who was sued by a commercial developer. Our attorneys successfully filed and argued a motion to intervene on behalf of the insurer which resulted in our client being able to submit a verdict form allocating covered and non-covered damages.
In many instances, insurance coverage is confirmed and our focus is on defending your policyholders. An issue that consistently arises in construction defense relates to the work product of small and midsized subcontractors which carries the potential to affect other trades named in construction defect suits. Therefore, a precise working knowledge of the various subcontractors’ scope of work is critical to a successful defense. Watson Law Group regularly represents high exposure commercial developers, general contractors and subcontractors named as defendants by homeowners, condominium associations, developers and property owner associations. This consistent experience combined with our attorneys’ involvement in industry trade groups provides us with the ongoing expertise to meet all of our clients’ construction based needs whether it be in analyzing CGL policies, pursing a subrogation claim against a subcontractor or representing named insureds in litigation.
Watson Law Group has successfully represented the following range of subcontractor policyholders:
• framing and carpentry operations ranging from “stick-built” residential construction to modular delivery;
• window installers and distributors of window products;
• concrete and foundation contractors;
• irrigation and landscaping professionals;
• roofing contractors and off-site fabricators of roofing components;
• demolition contractors
• masonry subcontractors;
• site work professionals including heavy earth, storm water, access and road contractors.
Obtained defense verdict on behalf of general contractor’s insurer in contribution action brought by another target subcontractor’s insurer who obtain release on behalf of general contractor.
Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an architect alleged to have committed professional negligence and ethics violations during the restoration of an upscale historic renovation.
Secured a dismissal on behalf of a design profession named in a catastrophic burn injury case where the allegations related to a propane leak caused by a lack of coordination amongst premise owner and contractors. After our dismissal, the ultimate global settlement exceeded $2.5 million.
Secured a dismissal on behalf of a framing contractor named in a lawsuit brought by a paralysis victim who was injured when she fell through an elevator shaft which was undergoing repairs. Following our client’s dismissal, the case ultimately resolved with all remaining named parties contributing to a significant global settlement.
Obtained dismissal on behalf of general contractor after the granting of our motion for summary judgment against a commercial warehouse owner’s construction defect claims based on lack of causation.
Obtained dismissal for failure to prosecute action initiated against a commercial general contractor ina case seeking approximately $1 million in damages.
Facilitated an economic settle on behalf of general contractor by successfully tendering additional insured obligations owed by the subcontractor in a road construction case. The global settlement resulted in our client contributing 5%, while the named subcontractor contributed the remaining indemnity obligation.
Represented subcontractor responsible for installation of “faux” brick product at a 90 unit project in which alleged aggregate damages exceeded $21 million.
Defended siding contractor responsible for application of James Hardie style composite siding on an 88 unit residential condominium project in which damages allegedly exceeded $12 million.
Represented balustrade and hand rail subcontractor at high end, multi-family project in which alleged aggregate damages exceeded $10 million.