Environmental Civil Procedure Insurance

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In Indiana, an Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Exclude Absolutely Nothing

A recent article in the Sports section of The Miami Herald read “Shooting coach helps Winslow.” Perhaps, but it probably didn’t help the coach much. The admonition to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate” undoubtedly...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

Colorado Court Applies Notice-Prejudice Rule to Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 956 (Colo. App. July 14, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Colorado had occasion to consider whether Colorado’s...more

Federal Court Dismisses Claims Against Third-Party Administrator

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency brought certain enforcement actions against Hartford Iron & Metal, Inc. to remediate alleged environmental damage at a scrapyard run...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Love Canal Claims

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958 (W.D.N.Y. June 10, 2016), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York had occasion to consider...more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

When Attorneys General Attack: AGs’ Aggressive Investigation of Climate Change Disclosures, and Getting Your Insurer to Provide...

Who’s afraid of New York’s Martin Act? Right now, a lot of Wall Street and energy industry companies, that’s who. Why are they concerned about the Martin Act? Because it grants the New York State Office of the Attorney...more

North Carolina Court Holds PCB Pollution Not Sudden and Accidental

In its recent decision in PCS Phosphate Co. v. Am. Home Assur. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50389 (E.D.N.C. Apr. 14, 2016), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina had occasion to consider...more

Arizona Court Holds Pollution Inapplicable to Faulty Plumbing Claims

In its recent decision in Nat’l Fire Ins. Co. v. James River Ins., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19076 (D. Ariz. Feb. 16, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Arizona had occasion to consider the application of...more

The Paris Agreement and Business Interruption Coverage

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." — Benjamin Franklin On Dec. 12, 2015, in LeBourget, France, world leaders announced an agreement on a climate change accord which they touted as...more

Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

Third Circuit Holds That Terms of Insurance Policy Renewal 'Must be the Same or Nearly the Same as the Initial Contract'

Recently, in a case involving the interpretation of a Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy (the “Policy”), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that “for a contract to be considered a renewal, it...more

Texas Says EPA Administrative Actions under CERCLA Trigger Duty to Defend

As any company facing EPA administrative action under CERCLA knows, the financial risk and defense costs associated with those proceedings can be the same as the risk and costs of an EPA lawsuit under CERCLA. But insurers...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #2

California Court: Rejected Demand Within Policy Limits Not Necessary for Bad Faith Claim - Why it matters: Insurers must proceed with caution when they become aware that a settlement within policy limits is possible,...more

Texas Supreme Court Decides that PRP Letters Issued by the EPA Under CERCLA Constitute a “Suit”

In McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation v. The Phoenix Insurance Company, No. 14-0465, —S.W.3d— (Tex. June 26, 2015), a 5-4 majority of the Texas Supreme Court held that the undefined term “suit” in the standard-form...more

Texas Joins Majority of States Holding that EPA’s CERCLA Proceedings Constitute a 'Suit' under Standard-Form CGL Policies

In response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Comprehensive...more

Oklahoma Holds Question of Whether Fracking Causes Earthquakes is for the Courts to Decide.

The issue of whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes has first-party insurance implications because policies typically exclude damage from tremors attributable to man-made causes as opposed to purely...more

Vermont Supreme Court Rejects Traditional Environmental Harm Limitation for Pollution Exclusion

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Energy Wise Homes, Inc., 2015 VT 52 (Vt. Apr. 3, 2015), the Supreme Court of Vermont had occasion to consider whether a pollution exclusion is limited to...more

Order of Civil Authority Claim for Superstorm Sandy Barred by Flooding Exclusion in New York

On Thursday of law week, a federal court in New York City tossed an Order of Civil Authority (OCA) claim by a New York City law firm in Bamundo, Zwal & Schermerhorn, LLP v. Sentinel Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39409...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court's misapplication of the pollution exclusion and disregard for policyholders' business and purpose in...

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions in which it held that pollution exclusions barred coverage for third-party claims resulting from alleged contamination of water due to the seepage of cow manure and...more

In New York, Failing to Timely Notify Insurance Carriers of a Pollution Incident May Cost You

On January 8, 2015, in Travelers Indem. Co. v. Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., the New York Appellate Division upheld a decision finding that Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc.’s notice to Travelers Indemnity Co. of...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

New York Supreme Court Pro Rata Allocation for MGP Sites on Long Island Clarifies Self-Insured Periods

A New York State trial court judge applied a pro rata time on the risk allocation for pollution from manufactured gas plants on Long Island. Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.,Index No. 604715/1997,...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

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