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Policy Exclusion Upheld

May 20, 2008

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In Aspinwall Building Corp v. Sirius America Ins. Co., a New York state court judge has upheld an exclusion that requires an insured to use a written contract whenever hiring a subcontractor and to require in that contract that the subcontractor indemnify the contractor. The facts of the case are that an owner hired Aspinwall for some construction work and Aspinwal subcontracted the job to Madonia Development. An employee of Madonia was injured and he sued Aspinwall. Aspinwall asked its carrier (Sirius) for defense and indemnity. Sirius denied coverage and won summary judgment and a ruling that it had no obligation to defend or indemnify its insured. The court upheld policy wording that excluded coverage if the insured subcontracted work to another contractor without obtaining a written contract requiring that the insured be indemnified and held harmless in the event of a loss, e.g., to a subcontractor's employee.

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