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Crossmann Communities of North Carolina Inc. v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

January 28, 2015

Crossmann Communities of North Carolina, Inc., and Beazer Homes Investment Corp., Appellants,
v.
Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company, Cincinnati Insurance Company, Defendants, of Whom Cincinnati Insurance Company is the Respondent

Heard: October 7, 2014.

Page 454

Appeal From Horry County. Steven H. John, Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2012-213245.

David B. Miller, of Bellamy, Rutenberg, Copeland, Epps, Gravely & Bowers, P.A., of Myrtle Beach, and Martin M. McNerney and Taylor T. Lankford, of King & Spalding, LLP, of Washington, D.C., for Appellants.

Franklin J. Smith, Jr., of Richardson, Plowden, Carpenter & Robinson, P.A., of Columbia, for Respondent.

SHORT, J. HUFF and KONDUROS, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 455

[411 S.C. 511] SHORT, J.:

In this insurance dispute, Crossmann Communities of North Carolina, Inc. (Crossmann) and Beazer Homes Investment Corp. (Beazer) (collectively, Appellants) appeal the trial court's order finding Cincinnati Insurance Company (Cincinnati) has no obligation to Appellants for costs incurred by Beazer to repair property damage at several condominium projects. Appellants argue the trial court erred in (1) determining commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies underlying

Page 456

Cincinnati's umbrella policies were not exhausted and (2) finding Cincinnati was not bound by a 2007 judgment. We affirm.

FACTS

Between 1992 and 1999, Appellants and other contractors and subcontractors constructed multiple condominium projects in South Carolina and were subsequently sued by numerous homeowners alleging property damage arising from construction defects.[1] Appellants settled with the homeowners for approximately $16.8 million.[2] Appellants then filed a declaratory action seeking coverage for the settlement payments it made from numerous insurers, including Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company (Harleysville) under a series of CGL policies and Cincinnati under a series of CGL umbrella policies. Prior to trial, several of Appellants' other insurers settled with Appellants for $8.6 million, providing coverage for [411 S.C. 512] the homeowners' claims. Crossmann II, 395 S.C. at 46 n.2, 717 S.E.2d at 592 n.2.

Harleysville provided Appellants CGL primary and excess coverage. The Harleysville primary policies provided a $1 million " each occurrence" limit and a $2 million " products completed operations aggregate" limit for the policy periods from 7/29/93 to 8/29/98. The Harleysville excess policies provided a $10 million " each occurrence" limit and an " aggregate limit" from July 29, 1994 to August 29, 1998. The Harleysville policies defined " occurrence" as " an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions" and " property damage" as " [p]hysical injury to tangible property, including all resulting loss of use of that property."

Cincinnati provided excess umbrella policies for the policy periods from July 1, 1998 to July 1, 2002 and provided $10 million coverage for " each occurrence annual limit and annual aggregate limit." These policies defined " occurrence" as " [a]n accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions" and defined " property damage" as " [p]hysical injury to or destruction of ...


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