Horizontal Exhaustion Analyzed by California Court in Continuous Damage Case

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On June 3, 2011, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued a decision in Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania that should be of interest to insureds, primary insurers and excess insurers as to the issues of horizontal exhaustion and stacking of liability insurance policies.

The underlying dispute involved coverage obligations for thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims brought against Kaiser.

In a previous decision, the appellate court held that asbestos bodily injury claims should be treated as multiple occurrences under the primary policies issued to Kaiser by Truck Insurance Exchange, rather than one single occurrence for multiple claimants. The primary policies all had non-aggregating per-occurrence limits, meaning the policies potentially could be on the hook for the total per-occurrence limit for each occurrence.

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