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Proving An Operator’s Gross Negligence: Is Intention Required?

Establishing an operator’s gross negligence requires “a degree of intentionality”, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Bernum Petroleum Ltd v Birch Lake Energy Inc, 2014 ABQB 652 [Bernum]....more

NE Supreme Court Issues Insurer-Friendly Decision on the Applicability of the Pollution Exclusion

In interpreting the scope of the pollution exclusion, one question seems to appear in case after case — what exactly does the pollution exclusion exclude? In State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Dantzler, 289 Neb. 1 (2014),...more

Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

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

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

Responding To Litigation Risk From Climate Change - Informed Decision Making

In the last few weeks, several major organisations, including the OECD and the US federal government, have released reports on the need to deal with climate change risk. Significantly, the world's largest global insurance...more

Energy Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - Important Case on Subsurface Trespass Pending before the Texas Supreme Court - U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS - Texas...more

What Defense Counsel Can Learn From The W.Va. Spill

For the companies and their lawyers, the headlines were awful and kept getting worse: 300,000 people suffering without drinking water; changes in corporate ownership just days before the chemical spill; and accusations that a...more

Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- May 30, 2013

In This Issue: Do Your Homework; Repeated Sexual Abuse = Multiple Occurrences, Says New York’s Highest Court; 5th Circuit Holds Policy Covers EPA Suit; Competitor’s False Ad Suit Covered By Liability Policy; and...more

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Implements New Guidance on Vapor Intrusion

On January 16, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published its new guidance on vapor intrusion, including significant changes to the groundwater vapor intrusion screening levels....more

Is CERCLA More Reasonable Than the Common Law? Only in California, I Hope

In Burlington Northern, the Supreme Court made clear that, in order to impose liability on a defendant as an “arranger” under Superfund for the sale of a product, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant "must have...more

The Proper Reach of Pollution Exclusion Provisions In Insurance Coverage Claims

Most people would likely consider pollution to be a concept that is tied to harm to the environment -- contamination of soil, groundwater, or ambient air. Consistent with this common understanding of pollution, courts have...more

11th Circuit: Total Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Pursley, Slip Copy, 2012 WL 3553405 (11th Cir. Aug. 20, 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected an attempt to limit the application of a commercial general liability...more

Anti-Assignment Clause In Insurance Policy Does Not Prohibit The Assignment Of Claim

Policyholders asserting claims against an insurer for damages arising from a fire, environmental contamination or other causes need to pay close attention to the “fine print” contained in their policy. Assigning a claim...more

Still No Insurance Coverage for Climate Change Nuisance Litigaiton -- At Least in Virginia

Last week, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled (for the second time) that a CGL policy issued to AES Corporation did not require Steadfast Insurance to provide a defense to AES for claims brought again AES in Kivalina v. Exxon...more

Supreme Court of Virginia Reaffirms No Coverage for Global Warming Lawsuit

In its recent decision in AES Corporation v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2012 Va. LEXIS 81 (Va. Apr. 20, 2012), the Supreme Court of Virginia revisited its 2011 ruling concerning whether a general liability carrier had a duty to...more

Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Unsupported Fraudulent Inducement Defense

The Delaware Chancery Court rejected a defendant's fraud in the inducement defense where, at the summary judgment stage, the defendant (a) failed to come forward with specific facts showing that the counterparty knowingly...more

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