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Washington Insurance Law 2014 Mid-Year Update

During the first six months of 2014, Washington judges issued several notable insurance-related decisions. Some of those decisions were favorable to insurers and could benefit insurers in future insurance claims and lawsuits...more

Important Insurance Coverage Cases On the Horizon

This year, 2014, is lining up with interesting insurance coverage cases pending across the country which may lead to far reaching decisions. In California the Hartford Insurance Company has been dominating the...more

Forum-Shopping Insurance Companies' Latest Tricks

Decades ago, insurance companies tried to persuade trial courts in California to apply the law of some other state to multi-party environmental and asbestos insurance coverage disputes because the insurance companies believed...more

Fifth District Upholds CEQA Exemptions For Ongoing Pre-CEQA Projects And Continued Operation of Existing Facilities To Reject...

In a July 3, 2014 published decision more notable for the practical importance of the water rights involved than the CEQA law applied, the Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected the CEQA challenges of various environmental...more

Top 6 at 6: Highlights of the Top Climate Change Legal Stories in the First Half of 2014

Our semi-annual look at the top climate change legal stories is keyed on EPA. You hardly have to have been awake to be aware of the Clean Power Plan and UARG v. EPA. But other things have stirred the pot as well: three...more

Supreme Court Decides Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1146, holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot require that a stationary...more

There is No Need To Be Alarmed By Alarmist Readings of New York’s Most Recent Ruling On Waiver of Notice Defenses

The New York Court of Appeals recently reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling that insurers had waived their late notice defense by not raising the defense until years after they first received notice of a pollution...more

Duty to Consult where Government Action Impacts a First Nation’s Economic Interests

On May 14, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Ehattesaht First Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2014 BCSC 849. The case concerned an application for...more

New York High Court Finds that New York Insurance Law §3420(d)(2)’s Prompt Notice Requirement Does Not Extend to Claims Limited to...

In KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., et al., — N.Y.3d –, (N.Y. June 10, 2014), a case involving two environmental damage claims, the New York Court of Appeals reversed an appellate decision which...more

Use chemicals in your business? Read your insurance policy: You might not be covered.

A recent federal appeals court ruling underscores the need for businesses using potentially irritating chemicals to check their insurance policies for “absolute pollution exception” clauses. These increasingly common clauses...more

Seismic Data Held by a Board: A Further Look

The Federal and Nova Scotia regulations that require oil and gas companies to submit seismic data to Nova Scotia’s offshore oil and gas board are not ultra vires, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently held in Geophysical...more

Texas Supreme Court Issues Opinion with Implications for Power Purchase Agreements

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion with implications for negotiating terms in power purchase agreements in the renewable energy market. In FPL Energy LLC, et al. v. TXU Portfolio Management Co., LP, the Court...more

New Clean Air Act Decision Could Spell Trouble for Defendants in Citizen Suits

On April 18, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., No. 10-1371 (Apr. 18, 2014), a case challenging new EPA emissions standards that govern...more

Federal Court Upholds First Offshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales After Gulf Oil Spill

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion upholding the approval, by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, of the first oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico...more

Out of the Box: Legal guidance for the consumer product + retail industry - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 2014

In This Issue: - California Announces First Consumer Products Subjected To New Green Chemistry Rules - FDA Issues Final Guidance Distinguishing Liquid Dietary Supplements from Beverages - Private Surgeon General...more

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...more

California Court Denies Summary Judgment on Known Conditions Exclusion

In its recent decision in Lennar Mare Island v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26405 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California had occasion to consider the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jan 30, 2014

California Court Recognizes Named, Additional Insureds Have Different Expectations - Why it matters: While the holding sounds straightforward – the reasonable expectations of an additional insured about the...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

Are You Subsidizing Another State's Air Pollution?

You might have to, if the Environmental Protection Agency gets its way in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court will hear oral arguments in a case dealing with the EPA’s ability to regulate cross-state, or...more

Amendment to Prop 65 Provides Businesses a Grace Period: AB 227 Aims to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits and Excessive Penalties

Gov. Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 227 into law, which amends California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, otherwise known as Proposition 65. Prop 65 provides that businesses may not expose...more

Is the Absolute Pollution Exclusion Absolute? It Depends on Which State Answers the Question

The battle over the scope of the absolute pollution exclusion in general liability policies continues to be fought in the context of defective drywall manufactured in China. An earlier blog entry discussed a Virginia court...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Sep 19, 2013

Pollution Claims–Apparently Here to Stay - With the advent of the “absolute” pollution exclusion in commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies in the mid-1980s, many in the insurance industry predicted that...more

Court Upholds County’s Ban of Single-Use Plastic

A coalition of companies involved in making and distributing plastic bags challenged an ordinance that bans single-use plastic bags and imposes a fee. The coalition alleged that the county failed to comply with the California...more

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