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WCM Awarded Summary Judgment in Bergen County, New Jersey Declaratory Judgment Action.

July 8, 2013

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<h3><strong>Mountainside, NJ </strong></h3>
Partner, Denise Fontana Ricci, was awarded summary judgment in the case of <i>Puglisi v. AJD v. Burlington</i>, a declaratory judgment action involving a general contractor’s attempt to obtain additional insured insurance coverage from a subcontractor.   In the underlying action<i>, Puglisi v. AJD Construction</i>, a mason died after falling backwards from a platform that served a hoist elevator used to bring personnel and supplies to the upper floors of the building that was being constructed.   The decedent’s estate alleged that the decedent fell while leaning on a horizontal girt support for a canopy over the platform.   Notwithstanding the fact that the decedent’s estate sued the scaffold and hoist company, a Burlington Insurance Company insured, the plaintiff ’s expert faulted only AJD, the general contractor, that had overall responsibility for safety on the jobsite.   No expert opined that the scaffold and hoist company’s design or initial installation of the platform or hoist was negligent.  In the absence of such evidence, the Court granted summary judgment to Burlington’s insured.
<p align="justify">Notwithstanding this reality, AJD still sought additional insured coverage from Burlington on the basis that the scaffold and hoist company’s Burlington insurance policy included a blanket additional insured endorsement that provided additional insured coverage when the named insured was required to procure such coverage in a written contract but only in situations where the tender arose out of the insured’s work.  In this case, because there was no evidence to the contrary, the judge agreed that the tender did not arise out of the insured’s work.   The court therefore ruled in favor of Burlington and held that no coverage attached.</p>

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