On September 8, 2019 Shareholder David Ezra presented at the Associated General Contractors of California’s 2019 Legal Retreat at The Lodge Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
AGC’s annual legal retreat is a weekend-long event full of critical discussions regarding fundamental legal updates, regulations, and valuable networking.
David Ezra presented along with Cheryl Orr and David Tartaglio of Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP on the topic of “Making Risk Transfer Work After Centex.” The presentation’s discussion focused on the duty to defend in the context of non-insurance indemnity agreements, as addressed in Centex Homes v. R-Help Construction Co., Inc., 32 Cal.App.5th 1230 (2019). Mr. Ezra testified as an expert witness at the Centex trial.
The court ultimately held in Centex that the duty to defend, in a properly worded non-insurance indemnity agreement, can be established by unsubstantiated allegations, extend to meritless claims, and continue until the resolution of the underlying action. The presenters provided a historical look at the duty to defend in insurance contexts, and addressed the transition toward the insurance standard in non-insurance contexts as embodied by case law such as Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc., 44 Cal.4th 541 (2008) and Centex.