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Monday, March 21, 2011

Update: Crossman Communities of North Carolina v. Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company

By Stephen P. Groves, Sr.

Crossmann Communities of North Carolina, Inc. v. Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company,

___ S.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (2011) (2011 WL 93716, filed January 7, 2011)

On January 11, 2011, I posted an entry to this blog addressing the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in the above-referenced case. As it turned out, my entry was only the tip of the iceberg. This case has created a firestorm of controversy in South Carolina and has been the subject of discussion around this country. Furthermore, the decision spurred action in the South Carolina Legislature with the introduction of various bills seeking, in essence to overturn Crossmann Communities and make sure that insurance companies doing business in South Carolina provide liability insurance coverage to contractors and subcontractors for unintentional defective construction and/or faulty workmanship.

The opinion, of course, elicited a Petition for Rehearing, as well as, numerous amicus briefs in opposition to and in support of the petition. The amici included the (a) Ledgestone Court Residents of York County; (2) Coastal Carolina University Student Housing Association, (3) American Subcontractors Association of the Carolinas, (5) Mechanical Contractors Association of South Carolina, (6) Riverwalk at Arrowhead Country Club Property Owners Association, (7) Medical University of South Carolina, (8) Home Builders Association of South Carolina, (9) National Association of Nome Builders, (10) Community Associations Institute, (11) South Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, (12) Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., (13) Carolinas AGC, Inc., (14) Cincinnati Insurance Company, (15) Charleston County School District, (16) School District of Greenville County, (17) Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas, Inc., and (18) Leading Builders of America. In the spirit of full disclosure, I filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Apparently, based at least in part on the uproar, including the legislative action, on March 9, 2011, the Supreme Court granted the Petition for Rehearing and scheduled re-argument of the case for Monday, May 23, 2011. In addition to the unusual Monday scheduling, the Supreme Court has specifically granted all of the amici oral argument time. This should prove to be an interesting day.

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