Single Policy Limit Applies to Multiple Injuries from Two Bridge Collapses
An engineering firm purchased a professional liability policy with limits of $3,000,000 per claim and $5,000,000 in the aggregate. The policy limited “related claims” to the single limit and defined them as “all claims ... during any policy year arising out of ... a single wrongful act; [or] ... multiple wrongful acts that are logically or causally connected by any common fact, situation, event, transaction, advice, or decision.” The underlying claim involved the collapse of two bridges under construction on a college campus within 24 hours of each other, which were attributed to a design flaw. The first collapse killed one construction worker and injured four others; the second caused no injuries or fatalities. The insurer indemnified the insured up to the $3,000,000 single claim limit. The Fourth District held the claims arising out of the collapse of the bridges were related because the alleged wrongful acts out of which the claims arose are logically connected by multiple common facts related to the same design. Thus the single limit applied.