In Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. v. Albanese Popkin the Oaks Development Group L.P., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125918 (Nov. 30, 2010), Judge Kenneth A. Marra of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered that the developer’s insurer has no duty to provide coverage or a defense for claims related to Chinese drywall, which were made against the developer.  The Court ruled that the commercial general liability policies issued to the developer did not cover the claimed losses because the damages at issue “manifested” before the issuance of the developer’s policies.

The coverage dispute arose from the lawsuit that Alan and Annette Goddard filed against the developer, Albanese Popkin.  According to court documents, Albanese Popkin completed construction on the Goddards’ Florida home in October 2006.  The Goddards discovered damage to the air conditioning coils in one of their seven air handling units and a periodic sulfur odor in December of 2006.  Based upon the allegations in the Goddard’s complaint, the Court found that  the damages related to Chinese drywall “manifested” before the applicable policy periods began.  Reaffirming Florida’s adherence to the “manifestation” coverage trigger doctrine, the Court wrote:

Manifestation of the damage is relevant in this context because it establishes that the Goddards sustained actual damage before the policy in question became effective.  Therefore, there was no ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ during the policy period

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