02 March 2015

New Jersey courts sign “death knell” for 1979 Weedo decision

 A new blog post from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton discusses two recent decisions limiting the holding of Weedo v. Stone-E-Brick, Inc., 405 A.2d 788 (N.J. 1979), a New Jersey case that has generated decades of commentary and debate, in my own writing as well as that of many others (at least 1880 citations, according to the blog).

Weedo interpreted a 1973 insurance policy form. Although its holding was not particularly remarkable on its face, many courts would later apply Weedo as precedent in disputes arising under newer policies that had been written to expand coverage for property damage arising from a contractor’s defective work. It is well time that the case be retired and no longer cited as precedent.

Update: In August 2016, the Supreme Court of New Jersey affirmed one of the decisions discussed above, effectively driving the final nail in the Weedo coffin. The court relied in part on Colorado’s seminal Greystone decision to hold that the term “occurrence” in standard CGL policies encompasses unanticipated damage to nondefective property resulting from a subcontractor’s poor workmanship. Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n v. Adria Towers, L.L.C., 143 A.3d 273 (N.J. 2016).