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How failure to file a claim in a timely fashion can matter

Contract compliance can be a very important factor in any business dispute. The type of contract actually may not matter as much as the wording of effective agreements and the time frame in which problems are reported. This is apparently what has happened regarding the contract to upgrade the roofing at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The stadium management group Miami Gardens South Florida Stadium LLC hired the Hunt Construction Group, Inc., which then sub-contracted Hillsdale Fabricators of St. Louis to perform the work. In addition they purchased claim-made construction insurance for the 2016-2017 effective contract year from W.R. Berkeley to provide professional indemnity insurance.

Hillsdale Fabricators claimed to Hunt after conducting the work that Hunt had made several mistakes when constructing the original steel supports, which then meant fulfilling their construction contract required additional costs that they needed to recover. The claim from Hillsdale was made during the 2016-2017 time frame, but Hunt did not file an insurance claim until five days after their new insurance contract became effective for 2017-2018 resulting in the business litigation case.

Business insurance provider W.R. Berkeley refused to pay the damage claim based on the time at which the claim was filed. Berkeley stated that coverage for work performed during 2016-2017 insurance policy were only payable when filed before the expiration of the effective policy dates. Hunt contested W.R. Berkeley was still required to honor the claim because the filing came within a reasonably short time frame after the new policy effective date. The case was heard in U.S. District Court in south Florida with the court ruling in favor of W.R. Berkeley.

This legal dispute is a prime example of why it is vital to have detail-driven legal representation in any business dispute. Not only do contract riders and exemptions apply, but the time allowed to file a claim can be a serious issue when financial damages are incurred.