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29th Annual Construction Defect Seminar

May 18, 2023 @ 7:30 am - May 19, 2023 @ 1:00 pm

The West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar series is the largest event of its kind worldwide and continues into its 29th year of bringing the national and international construction defect community its most informative event regarding this specialized subject.


Start Date – Thursday, May 18, 2023

End Date – Friday, May 19, 2023

Location – The Disneyland Resort Hotel, 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802

2023 Featured Panelist

Cynthia Pertile Tarle

cynthia pertile tarle

Founder & Managing Partner

Tarle Law, P.C.

Joined By Panelists

  • Hon. Sue Kurita, Judge County Court at Law #6, El Paso, TX
  • Sheila Totorp, Complex Claims Technical Specialist, Argo Group US
  • Stephen A. Melendi, Partner, Tollefson Bradley Mitchell & Melendi

Lone Star Defects: A Texas-Sized Dose of New Developments in Liability Coverage Issues

This expert panel discussion takes place on: Friday, May 19, 2023 11:00am – 12:00pm PST

This Panel will discuss coverage issues a claims adjuster may encounter when handling Texas residential, commercial, and governmental construction defect claims, including discussing how Texas courts are in a state of flux regarding the duty to defend; allowances of extraneous evidence; clarification of Texas’ Anti-Indemnity Statute; improper applications of Time-Limited Demands; and pursuit of design professionals and downstream contractors. The Panel will discuss how differing state and federal courts in the multiple jurisdictions and venues throughout Texas may impact the adjusting of the claim and ways to effectively address the claim in order to protect the insured and evaluate the loss.

The Panel will also discuss new key cases and new state laws that have altered the coverage analysis impacting Texas construction defect claims and how that analysis can dictate actions undertaken by the adjuster while evaluating the claim and determining potential avenues of risk transfer. The Panel will address the Eight Corners Rule, including court’s interpretations as to duty to defend, the anti-indemnity statute, as well as the Lonergan Doctrine and Chapter 59, and the Mid-Continent Rule. The Panel will also discuss allocation among the carriers and contribution between insurers.

The Panel will also focus on commercial and residential construction defect claims either during ongoing operations or after completion of the project. The adjuster will learn what actions need to be taken upon notice of a residential construction claim, including the process involved with, deadlines applicable to, and remedies related to the Residential Construction Liability Act. The evolving law related to the Texas Anti-Indemnity Statute impacting commercial construction defect claims, including the impact upon potentially applicable coverage available and application of the additional insured obligation will also be discussed. The Panel will share what actions an insurance adjuster should take upon a request by the insured for independent counsel and insurance adjuster’s response to time limited demands.

The Panel will address risk transfer in the residential construction defect context and how that differs under the application of the anti-indemnity statute in transferring risk in a commercial construction defect claim. Analysis of applicable Texas law regarding “rip and tear” coverage will be discussed and how the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling regarding interpretation of coverage for third party attorney’s fees impacts an insurance adjuster’s valuation of the claim. The Panel will also focus on how recent changes in the judiciary at the State and Local level have impacted valuation of claims and the rising costs of repair due to labor and material shortages facing Texas which is adding to the exposure analysis of insureds and carriers alike.

The target audience for this panel discussion is claim professionals as well as defense and coverage attorneys handling Texas commercial, residential and government entity claims related to construction matters, including bodily injury and property damage. This should be considered an intermediate level panel discussion.

Our goal is to educate claims professionals and attorneys on the new developments in Texas law, so they can more productively approach pre-suit claims, settlement conferences, and exposure analysis prior to trial. This Panel will provide tips on how to maneuver through new and developing case law and statutes in Texas to arrive at a successful result to protect insureds, while at the same time applying the new laws to policy interpretation.

New Developments in Texas Coverage and Liability Issues

Texas has remained substantially unchanged over the past several years in its analysis of key legal concepts related to liability for construction claims. However, issues surrounding coverage for construction defects are very much in a state of flux. Texas legislature and courts have been busy clarifying, and in some instances altering, the law, ultimately impacting contract drafting, policy interpretation, and litigation strategies. Complex areas including: the duty to defend; allowances of extraneous evidence; clarification of Texas’ Anti-Indemnity Statute; improper applications of Time-Limited Demands; and pursuit of design professionals and downstream contractors, has caused the industry to question the best approach to litigating these cases. Previously the sole Lonergan Doctrine follower, Texas’ addition of Chapter 59 to the Texas Business and Commerce Code, and other key legislation, are leaving industry professionals scrambling on how to apply the new statutes. Moreover, increased costs of construction materials and shortages in the labor force have driven damages models north, expanding potential liabilities, and making it even more difficult for insurers to absorb the inflationary impact resulting in stalling of settlement discussions. Key tools are crucial to successfully maneuver through the morass of new developments in law impacting Texas construction claims.



May 18, 2023 @ 7:30 am
May 19, 2023 @ 1:00 pm