The Iowa Supreme Court grants further review in National Surety Corporation v. Westlake Investments, LLC

Mollie Pawlosky, Iowa Commercial Litigation Law, Iowa Banking Law Dickinson Law, Des Moines Iowa, Dickinson Law Firm, Iowa Construction Law

Posted on 02/08/2016 at 12:19 PM by Mollie Pawlosky

The Iowa Supreme Court on February 1, 2016, granted further review in National Surety Corporation v. Westlake Investments, LLC, a case that has been closely watched by insurance practitioners throughout Iowa.

Westlake addresses the important question as to whether construction defects can be covered by a commercial general liability policy. In March 2014, a Polk County jury entered a $12.4 million verdict against National Surety Corporation. The jury's verdict came after several motions for summary judgment had been decided adverse to National Surety Corporation, one of which ruled that both construction defects and their resultant damages could be covered by a commercial general liability policy.

National Surety Corporation appealed from the judgment that followed the verdict's entry, and on October 28, 2015, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. However, the Court of Appeals in its decision recognized that the court had reached a different conclusion under the Westlake facts than the same court did in Cont'l W. Ins. Co. v. Jerry's Homes, Inc., 04-1890, 2006 WL 228917 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006) under similar facts. Based in part upon the Court of Appeal's inconsistent application of existing law, National Surety Corporation asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review the case.

The Court agreed, setting oral arguments for March 8, 2016. For questions regarding National Surety Corporation v. Westlake Investments, LLC, contact Mollie Pawlosky, the Iowa counsel handling the appeal for National Surety Corporation.

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