In a case that could have significant importance for insurers facing Chinese drywall claims in Florida and elsewhere, Judge Michael Moore of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found that a total pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy bars coverage for claims associated with Chinese drywall.
In General Fidelity Ins. Co. v. Katherine L. Foster, et.al., Case No. 09-80743-CIV-MOORE (S.D.Fla. March 24, 2011), General Fidelity filed suit against Katherine Foster and her home builder, Northstar Holdings, Inc., seeking a judicial declaration that Chinese drywall-related claims are not covered. General Fidelity filed its lawsuit after Foster sued Northstar alleging that Chinese drywall installed in her Boynton Beach, Fla., home was defective, and had resulted in bodily injury to her and property damage to the home. The underlying action by Foster was filed in federal court in Florida, but consolidated with the multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and assigned to Judge Fallon. The MDL is where all federal court homeowner claims seeking damages as the result of exposure to Chinese drywall have been consolidated.
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