Plaintiff, an iron works corporation, brought an action for damages against defendants, property owners and others, for breach of contract. Defendants appealed from an adverse judgment by the Superior Court of San Diego County (California).

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Overview

The trial court found generally that the iron works company had agreed to furnish steel framing for a three-story building in accordance with the plans and specifications indicated, and the property owners promised to pay for this. The court found that in compliance therewith, the iron works company commenced upon the performance of the contract and entered into a written subcontract for the supply, engineering, and fabrication of all steel required. Without the iron works company’s consent and against its wishes, the property owners wilfully prevented the iron works company from further performing its contract, which amounted to a material breach. In addition, the iron works company suffered damage for costs and expenses incurred by its subcontractor. The iron works company was awarded damages. The trial court properly rejected the argument that the contract could not be a basis for a cause of action for claimed breach since its effectiveness was conditioned upon the property owners’ determining within a few days whether a two-story or a three-story building was to be erected.

Outcome

The judgment was affirmed.

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Procedural Posture

Plaintiff insured sued defendant insurance company alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) granted summary judgment in favor of the insurance company on the grounds that the insurance company did not owe the insured a duty to defend in another lawsuit. The insured appealed.

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Overview

The insured was sued by its lessee for damages that arose out of an order to clean up groundwater contamination at the property owned by the insured. The trial court found no potential for coverage under the comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy at issue, based upon a qualified pollution exclusion (QPE) in the policy. The court of appeals found that the policy language established that the exception to the QPE did not apply unless both the release of contaminants and the damage occurred during the insurance company’s policy period. The QPE provided a permissible exclusion on coverage and there was no reasonable ambiguity that warranted reversal of the trial court’s order. The insurance company did not waive its right to assert a defense pursuant to the QPE. The insured’s estoppel argument also failed, as there was no evidence that the insurance company intended for the insured to believe that it would not enforce the QPE. Because it was clear that the lessee only sought damages for negligence that occurred well-before the time the insurance company’s policy was in place, there was no potential for coverage, and the insurance company did not have a duty to defend.

Outcome

The judgment was affirmed.

Posted in Buisness