First off, let me begin this post by acknowledging that some have made it known to me that there is such a thing as too much Katrina, too much hurricanes, too much Katrina coverage law, too much rising homeowners insurance rates. I live by one principle: give the people what they want. So to you folks, I dedicate this day on the blog. This day will be known as Freedom from Katrina Day. If I can make it through tomorrow without talking about Katrina, that day will be known as Freedom from Katrina Day: Reloaded. After that, we’ll see. For those who are saddened and blindsided by these developments and need More Katrina, allow me to refer you to the other zillion posts I’ve done on the subject. But before we move on, let me say one last thing: Katrina. There. I’m over it.
So let us return today to the roots of this blog, which is insurance coverage case law. As you may know from reading my bio, I read or at least look at a fair number of new insurance coverage cases most every day. Some of my reasons are as follows: so I know what is going on, to broaden my horizons, and because I like coverage law. Some stuff repels me, of course. Anything badly written or where it is apparent the writer has no clue gets the skunk eye from me. In addition, any case that is primarily about ERISA, I run from it like someone is trying to hand me a basket full of snakes. (No offense intended to Steve Rosenberg). But I find maybe half the cases hold some interest for me, with a small number of those standing out as truly fine work that sheds some needed light on some aspect of coverage law.
In this elite category, I place Dubrow v. Mike Check Builders, Inc., 2006 WL 1966966 (E.D. Wisc. July 11, 2006). Almost all the time cases that discuss the so-called "business risk" exclusions in a Commercial General Liability policy, or that discuss construction defect coverage in general, wind up in a total mess. Hats off to U.S. District Court Judge William Griesbach, who wrote an opinion that succinctly and precisely discusses these exclusions, what they mean, and when they apply. Based on one reading, albeit a careful one, I find no fault in this case. I particularly liked how the judge dispensed with the argument over the application of the economic loss doctrine, pointing out that is a remedies principle and not part of an insurance policy analysis. I am going to keep this case handy for reference when I work on coverage matters with Eric Kekel, who has an amazing construction defect practice. Since his office is two doors down and he knows where to find me, I need to have answers at my fingertips.