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Pekin Insurance Co. v. Beu

September 6, 2007

PEKIN INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROGER H. BEU, LINDA BEU AND WALTER HALL, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 05 CH 11951 Honorable Dorothy Kinnaird, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O'brien

Published opinion

Defendants Roger and Linda Beu appeal the order of the circuit court granting plaintiff Pekin Insurance Company's motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that plaintiff had no duty to defend them against an underlying negligence action. On appeal, defendants contend that the court erred in finding no duty to defend under the terms of the insurance policy issued by plaintiff. We affirm.

Roger Beu entered into a contract with Castle Builders regarding the construction of a residence located at 14504 Nelson Road in Woodstock, Illinois. Plaintiff issued a liability insurance policy to Castle Builders, effective February 26, 2002, to October 17, 2002, in which Roger Beu was added as an additional insured. Plaintiff's policy defines an additional insured as follows:

"1. Who is An Insured (Section II) is amended to include as an insured the person or organization shown in the schedule. Such person or organization is an additional insured only with respect to liability incurred solely as a result of some act or omission of the named insured and not for its own independent negligence or statutory violation. ***."

Walter Hall, an employee of T.S.Decorating, Inc., was working at the Nelson Road property on September 6, 2002, when he allegedly fell and sustained injuries. Hall filed a negligence action naming as defendants Direct Design, Ltd., Direct Design Construction Management, Ltd., Castle Builders, Inc., Roger H. Beu and Linda Beu, and Builders Choice Drywall, Inc. Count IV of Hall's complaint was directed against defendants Roger and Linda Beu and alleged in pertinent part:

"[O]n September 6, 2002, Defendant, Beu, was the owner, general contractor and/or contractor engaged in the construction and erection of [a] single family home [at 14504 Nelson Road] and had the responsibility for safety on the job site. *** That on and before September 6, 2002, the Defendants, and each of them, owned and/or were in charge of the erection, construction, repairs, alteration, removal and/or painting of [the structure] at 14504 Nelson Road ***. That at the aforesaid time and place and prior thereto, the Defendants, and each of them, individually and through their agents, servants and employees, were present during the course of such erection, construction, repairs, alteration, removal and/or painting. The Defendants, and each of them, participated in coordinating the work being done and designated various work methods, maintained and checked work progress and participated in the scheduling of the work and the inspection of the work. In addition thereto, at that time and place, the Defendants had the authority to stop the work, in the event the work was being performed in a dangerous manner or for any other reason."

Count IV of the complaint further alleged that defendants Roger and Linda Beu owed Hall a duty to exercise reasonable care, and that "[d]efendants, and each of them, by and through their agents, servants and employees," breached that duty by one or more of the following:

"(a) Failed to make a reasonable inspection of the premises, and the work being done thereon, when the Defendants knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, that said inspection was necessary to prevent injury to Hall.

(b) Improperly operated, managed, maintained and controlled the aforesaid premises, so that as a direct and proximate result thereof, the premises was in an unsafe condition and Hall was injured.

(c) Failed to provide Hall with a safe place within which to work, including safe, suitable and proper fall protection.

(d) Failed to warn Hall of the dangerous conditions then and there existing, when the defendants knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, that said warning was necessary to prevent injury to Hall.

(e) Failed to provide adequate safeguards including a safe, suitable and proper fall protection system, safety railings, barricades or cover to prevent Hall from ...


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