South Carolina “your work” exclusion, “get to” costs

In Precision Walls, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 2013-000787 (S.C. Ct. App. July 23, 2014), SYS was the general contractor for a project.  SYS contracted with Precision for the supply and installation of exterior insulation board, to include the taping of all joints. After Precision completed its work, another subcontractor began construction of the brick veneer wall over the insulation board.   During construction of the brick wall, some of the joint sealing tape installed by Precision began to come loose.  To correct the problem, the existing portion of the brick veneer wall had to be torn down, all of the joint sealing tape removed and replaced, and the brick veneer wall rebuilt.  SYS deducted the cost of tearing down and rebuilding the brick veneer wall from Precision’s contract.  Precision sought reimbursement for this amount from its CGL policy issued by Liberty Mutual.  Liberty Mutual denied coverage and Precision filed a declaratory judgment action.  The trial court entered judgment for Liberty Mutual determining that the amount sought by Precision did not constitute damages because of “property damage” caused by an “occurrence,” and, even assuming it did, all such damages fell within the “your work” exclusion.  On appeal, the intermediate court of appeal affirmed.  Applying South Carolina law, the court held that all of the damages fell within the “your work” exclusion.  The court said it assumed without deciding that the damages were because of “property damage” caused by an “occurrence.”  The court determined that “the defective tape, and all costs associated with its replacement, fall squarely within the exclusion.”

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