Gruol Construction Co. v. Insurance Co. of North America
In Gruol Construction Co. v. Insurance Co. of North America (Wash.App. 1974) 11 Wash. App. 632, 524 P.2d 427, a contractor built an apartment building in 1963 and sold it to a third party the following year. In 1968, the owner sued the contractor for damage to the building caused by dry rot, which resulted from defective backfilling of soils against wood during construction. Insurers who successively insured the contractor between the dates of construction and discovery of the dry rot refused to provide a defense.
The contractor prevailed in a breach of contract action against the insurers, when "the court held that the injury was a continuous process which began at the time of the negligent construction and continued through the manifestation of the dry rot damage, ' "even though there was a lapse of time between the initial negligent act and the occurrence of the ultimate damage . . . ." ' " (Gruol, supra, 524 P.2d at p. 430.)