A Sterling (Alaska) Result: The Alaska Supreme Court Denies Coverage for Leaked Gasoline under the Absolute Pollution Exclusion

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On 13 June 2008, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its opinion in Whittier Properties Inc. v. Alaska National Insurance Company, concerning the interpretation of the “absolute pollution exclusion.” The Court held that leaked gasoline was unambiguously a pollutant, rejected the insured’s arguments for coverage under the “personal and advertising liability” section, and held that an insured cannot create coverage for an excluded risk by agreeing to indemnify a third party for the same. This case was successfully defended by a team of attorneys from Lane Powell’s Anchorage, Alaska office, including Brewster Jamieson, Andrea Girolamo-Welp, Brad Ambarian and Ben Roesch.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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