An electrical contractor’s CGL contained a “damage to impaired property” exclusion that barred coverage for claims that tangible property, other than the contractor’s work, could not be used or was less useful because of defects in the contractor’s work or its failure to fulfill the terms of its contract, if the property could be restored to use by the repair, replacement, adjustment or removal of the contractor’s work or by fulfillment of the terms of its contract.  Affirming summary judgment for the insurer, this decision holds that the exclusion barred coverage and also any duty to defend against a claim against the insured for negligent failure to tighten a screw in an electrical cabinet, causing a magnetic field that interfered with the operation of the plaintiff’s MRI and X-Ray machines.  That causes other than the insured’s negligent installation might have caused the loose screw didn’t require the insurer to defend since the insured would not be liable if the damage resulted from those innocent causes.  In other words, the only way the insured could be liable is if its defective work caused the problem.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Hall, J., sitting by assignment); March 19, 2018 (published April 17, 2018); 2018 WL 1833271