Pollution Exclusion

News & Analysis as of

Insurance Recovery Law - May 2015 #2

Recent Lawsuit Underscores Critical Lessons for Purchasers of Cyber Insurance - Why it matters: Columbia Casualty Company v. Cottage Health Systems was filed on May 7, 2015, in the Central District of California. Cottage...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...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

Down in the Dumps: Court Refuses to Apply Pollution Exclusion in Landfill Seepage Case

Claims involving potential coverage for pollution liability pose unique challenges for insurers. In many cases, the polluting activity occurred decades ago and over a large span of time, with only a fraction of the activity...more

Silica Dust Damage Held Barred by Pollution and Faulty Workmanship Exclusions in New York

Building construction frequently generates silica dust, a substance that can cause lung disease and other respiratory problems.  Abrasive sand-blasting or jack hammering as well as concrete drilling and block cutting can lead...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

Wisconsin Supreme Court Applies Pollution Exclusion to Well Contaminated with Manure

Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the pollution exclusion applies to well water contamination arising from the application of manure to nearby farmland, relieving a general liability insurer of its duty to...more

New York Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Introduction - Perhaps the most significant and dramatic decision of the year played out when the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, backtracked on an earlier decision regarding the duty to defend. It first...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...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

Property Policy’s Pollution Exclusion Not Subject to Proximate Cause Analysis

An insured’s argument to broadly apply an exception to a pollution exclusion was recently rejected by the British Columbia Supreme Court in Whitworth Holdings Ltd. v. AXA Pacific Insurance Co., 2014 CarswellBC 2648, 2014 BCSC...more

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Claim

In its recent decision in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Dantzler, the Supreme Court of Nebraska had occasion to consider the application of pollution exclusion to an underlying personal injury claim involving an...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

The Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Not Be That “Absolute”

The Absolute Pollution Exclusion (“APE”) contained in current general liability insurance policies excludes coverage for costs related to the cleanup of environmental pollution. Insurance companies have taken the position...more

Fifth Circuit Holds That a TPEE in a CGL Policy Can Exclude Pollution Claims Even in the Face of a UREC

What you need to know: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Texas law, held that a Total Pollution Exclusion Endorsement in a CGL Policy did not irreconcilably conflict with, and therefore was not superseded...more

Another State Weighs in on Pollution Exclusions in General Liability Policies

In May 2014, Nevada became the latest state to interpret the breadth and applicability of the pollution exclusion contained within a third-party general liability policy. Although many states have considered this question,...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jun 2014 #2

Nevada Supreme Court Holds That Absolute Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Suit - Why it matters: In answering certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, Nevada joined...more

Use chemicals in your business? Read your insurance policy: You might not be covered.

A recent federal appeals court ruling underscores the need for businesses using potentially irritating chemicals to check their insurance policies for “absolute pollution exception” clauses. These increasingly common clauses...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Sealant Fumes

In its recent decision in United Fire & Cas. Co. v. Titan Contrs. Serv., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8879 (8th Cir. May 13, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, had occasion to...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Carbon Monoxide

In its recent decision in Church Mut. Ins. Co. v. Clay Ctr. Christian Church, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5450 (Mar. 25, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Nebraska law, had occasion to...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion Still Unenforceable in Indiana

On February 27, 2014, the Insurance Committee of the Indiana State Senate voted 6 to 3 against House Bill 1241, which would have amended the Indiana Insurance Code to specify the manner in which the term "pollutant" must be...more

The Fuss Over Fracking: An Examination of the Insurance Issues Associated with Hydro-Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” is a drilling process used to extract underground oil or natural gas trapped in hard to reach shale rock formations deep in the earth. The process involves well...more

Illinois Appeals Court Rejects Application of Absolute Pollution Exclusion to Claim for Unpleasant Odors Emanating from Hog Farm...

In Country Mutual Insurance Company v. Hilltop View, LLC , 2013 IL App (4th) 130124, an intermediate Illinois appeals court held that the absolute pollution exclusion in an umbrella policy did not preclude coverage for a...more

2013 Review Of 3rd-Party Pollution Exclusion Decisions

Decades after its inception, the liability insurance policy’s pollution exclusion remains a much-litigated area of insurance law. In the third-party liability context, the provision precludes coverage for injury or damage...more

Wisconsin Appellate Court Holds Manure Not a Pollutant

In its recent decision in Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2013 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1031 (Wis. App. Dec. 11, 2013), the Court of Appeals for Wisconsin had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm...more

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