Insurer alleges no duty to defend in construction workers’ injury claims

An insurance provider claims it has no duty to defend in a construction injury suit that involved two workers who were allegedly injured by collapsing trusses.

Artisan and Truckers Casualty Co., filed a complaint May 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against the Burlington Insurance Company, Southern Truss Inc., Douglas Forrest, Gaylon Cruse, individually and doing business as Cruse Construction Company, and Mark Duckworth.

The plaintiff alleges in its complaint that it has no duty to defend or indemnify Southern Truss, Forrest, Cruse Construction and others in a bodily injury claim. It also claims Burlington Insurance does have a duty to defend in the case.

According to the suit, Gaylon and Duckworth were working for Cruse Construction on May 5, 2020. They were installing roof trusses while Forrest was operating a power crane to lift the trusses. Cruse and Duckworth were on ladders while trying to secure the trusses when the trusses gave way and caused them to fall and suffer injuries.

Both Cruse and Duckworth seek damages from Southern Truss, Forrest and Cruse Construction. Artisan claims Southern Truss’ policy only covers damages for bodily injury due to “an accident arising out of ownership, maintenance or use of an insured auto.” Artisan further claims Southern Truss’ commercial liability policy with Burlington provides coverage for the accident.

Artisan seeks monetary relief of more than $75,000 and all other just relief.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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