News & Press

Carlson and Huerta Secure for Their Developer Client a Stunning Victory Against a Recalcitrant Carrier for its Failure to Defend in Construction Defect Litigation


After a November 2015 San Diego Superior Court trial resulted in a resounding victory for their developer client, Robert C. Carlson and Sharon A. Huerta of the San Diego office of KNCH recently completed the damage phase of trial. In the first phase of trial the court found that American Safety’s additional insured endorsements provided completed operations coverage to its additional insured, Pulte Home Corporation, such that a defense obligation was due and owing. (See December 15, 2015 Decision) 

Carlson and Huerta obtained recovery of virtually all defense fees and costs incurred for the underlying actions, prejudgment interest on those fees and costs, Brandt fees (fees and costs incurred to obtain the outstanding defense fees), and a significant punitive damage award in the amount of $500,000.00. (See Decision and Amended Decision on Attorneys' Fees as well as April 7, 2016 Judgment.) 

A nearly $1.5 Million Dollar Judgment has been entered in favor of Pulte, which includes express findings that “the harm was the result of intentional malice, trickery or deceit” and included a pattern and practice of misrepresentations in the carrier’s correspondence. This decision will likely be appealed, but the significance in the Construction Defect industry cannot be underestimated. Well done and congratulations to our San Diego Office partners – they have helped the CD defense world and truly represented our client well.

Download December 15, 2015 Decision »
Download February 25, 2016 Decision re: Attorneys' Fees »
Download March 24, 2016 Amended Decision re: Attorneys' Fees »
Download April 7, 2016 Judgment »