Second Circuit Finds Coverage For Environmental Claims Based on Continuing Damage Provision in Excess Policies

Olin Corporation v. American Home Assurance Co.
(2nd Cir, December 19, 2012)

This environmental coverage dispute arises out of ground water contamination claims involving Olin’s Morgan Hill, California site, which had used the chemical potassium perchlorate in the manufacturing of signal flares beginning in 1956.  Olin appealed from the district court granting summary judgment to the insurers on the ground that the attachment point for the excess insurance policies could not be reached by the alleged environmental damage at the site.  Specifically at issue …

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New York Appellate Division Affirms Summary Judgment On Coverage For Manufacturer In Asbestos Suit Where Insurer Failed To Prove Expected Injury Exclusion In Policy

Union Carbide Corp. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co.
(Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, December 6, 2012)

This environmental coverage dispute arises out of an underlying asbestos claim.  The trial court granted Union Carbide
partial summary judgment striking the insurer’s defense that there was no coverage for the claims because the manufacturer expected or intended the bodily injury that resulted from exposure to its asbestos products.

The insurer asserted that Union Carbide intended the damages because it knew that asbestos would cause injuries and that …

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Insurers Unable to Escape Suit for Equitable Contribution, Despite Prior Settlements on $42 Million Groundwater Contamination Claim

Nucor Corp. v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wisconsin
(United States District Court, District of Arizona, October 1, 2012)

In this case, the plaintiff, Nucor Corp., used a chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) which infiltrated the groundwater in the Phoenix area in the 1980s. Nucor had purchased coverage from Wausau, Travelers, and Hartford to provide coverage, but there were issues over which insurer owed coverage. In 1998, there was a suit filed by Nucor to resolve discrepancies in its coverage. Those discrepancies were thought to be resolved

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Pin-Pon Corporation v. Landmark American Insurance Co. , case number 2009 0320 CA 03, consolidated with Pin-Pon Corporation v. Lexington Insurance Co., case number 31 2009 CA 01 2244, May 3, 2012 (Indian River County, FL)

Lexington Insurance Co. and Landmark American Insurance Co., were found by a Florida state jury to be liable to Gloria Estefan’s Pin-Pon Corp. in the amount of $6.7 million for failing to provide coverage for hurricane damage.

The insurers had made some payments, but the jury found that …

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Fourth Circuit Certifies Pollution Exclusion Ambiguity To The Virginia Supreme Court

Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward

(Fourth Circuit, March 1, 2012)

This environmental coverage dispute resulted from a property loss involving Chinese Drywall installed in policyholder’s residence. Over time, the Chinese Drywall released sulfuric gas into the residence causing damage to the interior structures of the home. Defendant filed a lawsuit against several development and supply companies, alleging that they constructed his home with "inherently defective" drywall.  Thereafter, the insurer filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that, under the Policies, it had no obligation

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Insurer has a Duty to Defend Policyholder for Clean Air Act Violations

Louisiana Generating LLC et al v. Illinois Union Insurance Company, U.S. Dist. Ct. Louisiana, January 30, 2012

In this case, both parties made motions for summary judgment seeking a declaration on the insurer’s duty to defend the policyholder in the underlying suit. The suit was brought by the Federal Government against the policyholder for Clean Air Act violations. The underlying suit alleged that the policyholder, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc., made major modifications to a coal plant within notifying the government or obtaining the

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Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Carbon Monoxide Claim

Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Pursley (11th Cir. (Ga.) Jan. 10, 2012)

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that the pollution exclusion in a CGL policy did not bar coverage for a wrongful death claim arising from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The decedent retained the insured to make repairs on his boat. When making the repairs, the insured neglected to cover the exhausts for the starboard engine. While the repairs were ongoing, the decedent stayed overnight on the boat and used a generator to power the air

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Definition Contained In Statute Could Not Be Applied Retroactively For Sinkhole Damage

Bay Farms Corp. v. Great American Alliance Ins. Co.  (United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, December 7, 2011)  

The issue in this environmental coverage dispute was whether a 2011 amendment to the Florida statutory scheme governing sinkhole insurance which added a statutory definition of "structural damage" should be applied retroactively to the insurance policy.  In September of 2009, the policyholder submitted a claim under the Policy for sinkhole losses arising from damage to structures on the property.  The insurer contended that of

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Circumstantial Evidence Insufficient to Establish Coverage – Insured Liable for Prorated Share

Fulton Boiler Works Inc. v. American Motorists Insurance Co., et al., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141884 (Dec. 9, 2011)

Liability for underlying asbestos claim alleged against an insured must be prorated according to the time that each defendant insurer provided coverage during the period in which the injury-in-fact occurred the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York recently decided.   

The plaintiff/ insured originally filed suit against American Motorists Insurance Co. and American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co. (collectively, AMICO) and OneBeacon Insurance

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Insolvent Insurer Off the Hook in Benzene Actions

Jones v. Golden Eagle Ins. Co. (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 28, 2011)

A California appellate court recently ruled that an insolvent insurer was not obligated to share in the defense or indemnity of its bankrupt insured where multiple personal injury claimants failed to comply with the Insurance Commissioner’s directives requiring submittal of a proof of loss.

Several individuals sued Calsol, Inc. and other defendants in separate lawsuits, alleging harm from exposure to Safety-Kleen 105 Solvent, a product used in connection with mechanical repairs. Safety-Kleen 105

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