Concurrent Cause Doctrine – 3
In Blackfield v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 245 Cal. App. 2d 271, 53 Cal. Rptr. 838 (1966), the insureds were home builders who included defective materials into homes they constructed. The plaintiffs discovered that the respondents had so defectively constructed the foundation of their home and compacted the fill on which it was placed that the foundation had settled unevenly, causing the house to slant, the stucco portion of the house to crack, and the windows and sliding doors not to open or close properly. Although almost all of the allegations of the complaint were for causes specifically excluded by the Lloyd’s policy, the Court of Appeal concluded that since the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify, Lloyd’s was required to defend the insured. The court further held that where there is doubt as to whether the duty to defend exists, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the insured.
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