Exclusion of Coverage for Claims Arising from Breach of Contract Includes All Claims with Substantial Nexus to Breach or Having “But For” Relationship with Breach

N. Plainfield Bd. of Educ. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 2008 WL 2074013 (D.N.J. May 15, 2008)

In this case, the Board of Education had been sued by various contractors and subcontractors for breach of contract and various tort claims, and sought specific performance from Zurich American Insurance Co. to defend against the claims under their insurance policy.  Zurich denied coverage, citing the policy provision excluding from coverage all claims arising from breach of contract.  The court found that that this exclusion covered any action that alleged a breach of duty, neglect, error, misstatement or omission and that grew out of or had substantial nexus with breach of contract, or any injury that would not have occurred but for the contract breach.  Thus, Zurich was justified in refusing coverage and indemnity for those claims, and the court granted Zurich’s motion for summary judgment against the Board.

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