Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Albert Green, Judge Presiding.
Rehearing Denied October 2, 1997. Released for Publication October 9, 1997.
Presiding Justice Greiman delivered the opinion of the court. Zwick and Quinn, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Greiman
PRESIDING JUSTICE GREIMAN delivered the opinion of the court:
This appeal concerns consolidated declaratory judgment actions in which two insurance companies dispute which one has the duty to defend in an underlying personal injury action. The trial court entered summary judgment against plaintiff United States Fire Insurance Company (USFI).
On appeal, USFI asserts that it had no duty to defend under the circumstances of this action and, even if a duty to defend existed, defendant Aetna Life & Casualty (Aetna) shares a concurrent duty to defend based on the "other insurance" clauses and endorsements in the two relevant policies.
For all the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's orders, finding that USFI had a sole duty to defend.
In brief, an employee of a subcontractor on a construction project sustained injuries. This appeal concerns what insurance coverage is available to the general contractor and the owner of the construction project in the underlying lawsuit filed by the subcontractor's employee.
A construction project was initiated at Argonne National Laboratories (Argonne). Defendant University of Chicago (University) was the designated owner and operator of the Argonne project, and defendant Perini Corporation (Perini) was the general contractor. Gateway Construction Company (Gateway) was a subcontractor on the project, and defendant Howard Startz (Startz) was an employee of Gateway.
Aetna issued an insurance policy to Perini, the general contractor. Perini entered into a subcontract agreement with Gateway.
Pursuant to the subcontract between Gateway and Perini, Gateway, as the subcontractor, had to "procure and maintain in force, on all its operations, insurance in accordance with attached Exhibit B [certificate of insurance], with Contractor [Perini] and Owner [the University] as additional insureds." The subcontract designates the University as the owner and operator of Argonne. Gateway obtained insurance from USFI.
USFI's policy named Gateway as the insured. An endorsement to this policy modified the commercial general liability coverage to include:
"Any person or organization required by written contract to be named as additional insured, and for whom operations are being performed by or on behalf of the named insured.
Who is an insured (section II) is amended to include as an insured the person or organization shown in the schedule, but only with respect to acts or omissions of the named insured in connection with the named insured's operations at the applicable location designated."
As required by the contract between Gateway and Perini, Gateway also secured a certificate of insurance describing the USFI policy as including Perini and the University as additional insureds:
"Perini Building Co., Inc., The University of Chicago and the United States Government are added as additional insureds for GL [general liability] claims to the extent such claims are caused by the actions/omissions of Gateway Const. Co., Inc. or its employees."
Startz filed a complaint in the circuit court of Cook County alleging that he sustained personal injuries while employed by Gateway and naming Perini, the University and Argonne as defendants (case No. 95 L 02585) (the Startz action). Gateway was not named as a defendant. Startz alleged that he was injured when he tripped on a conduit protruding from a concrete slab while moving rebars. Startz ...