The California Supreme Court Holds That Sudden and Accidental Pollution Need Only Be a "Substantial Factor" to Trigger Insurance Coverage


The California Supreme Court just handed down another major decision in favor of policyholders in the Stringfellow Acid Pits litigation. A few months ago in that litigation, the California Court of Appeal ruled in favor of stacking policy limits. Earlier this week, the state’s high court ruled that policyholders need only establish that sudden and accidental pollution was a “substantial factor in causing indivisible property damage” to defeat the application of a pollution exclusion with a “sudden and accidental” exception. State of California v. Allstate Ins. Co., S14988 (Mar. 9, 2009).

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