Pollution Exclusion

News & Analysis as of

In Indiana, an Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Exclude Absolutely Nothing

A recent article in the Sports section of The Miami Herald read “Shooting coach helps Winslow.” Perhaps, but it probably didn’t help the coach much. The admonition to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate” undoubtedly...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

Indiana Court Concludes Broad Pollution Exclusion Is Ambiguous

In its recent decision in Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96361 (N.D. Ind. July 25, 2016), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana had...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Love Canal Claims

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958 (W.D.N.Y. June 10, 2016), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York had occasion to consider...more

Oregon Environmental Update: 9th Circuit Finds a Request for Information Letter From EPA Satisfies "Suit" Requirement and Triggers...

On May 11, 2016, in Ash Grove Cement Co. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., No. 14-35298, in an unpublished Memorandum Opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling that under Oregon Law, Liberty Mutual and USF&G...more

North Carolina Court Holds PCB Pollution Not Sudden and Accidental

In its recent decision in PCS Phosphate Co. v. Am. Home Assur. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50389 (E.D.N.C. Apr. 14, 2016), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina had occasion to consider...more

Georgia Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Injury

In its recent decision in Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 2016 Ga. LEXIS 245 (Ga. Mar. 21, 2016), the Supreme Court of Georgia had occasion to consider whether under Georgia law, the pollution exclusion applies to...more

Lead in Drinking Water: Insurance Coverage Issues

The tragic water crisis in Flint, Michigan raises grave concerns as to the lurking hazards posed by our nation’s aging infrastructure. There are an estimated six million lead service lines in operation in the United States. ...more

Arizona Court Holds Pollution Inapplicable to Faulty Plumbing Claims

In its recent decision in Nat’l Fire Ins. Co. v. James River Ins., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19076 (D. Ariz. Feb. 16, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Arizona had occasion to consider the application of...more

Can Insurance Help You Pay for Coal-Fired Power Plant Decommissioning?

The environmental remediation costs of decommissioning a coal-fired power plant can be chillingly high—in one proposal we recently reviewed, the environmental costs of a 45-year-old plant with four ash ponds approached $30...more

Texas Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Inapplicable

In its recent decision in In re: ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, 2016 Bank. LEXIS 201 (S.D. Tex. Bankr. Jan. 20, 2016), the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas had occasion to consider the application...more

Vermont: First-Party Pollution Exclusions Are Not Confined to Traditional Environmental Pollution.

Courts in a number of American states, notably California, have found that pollution exclusions in first-party policies are “inherently ambiguous” and that the purpose of such provisions is “to address liability arising from...more

Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

If not “determinative,” then at least compelling: Other, specific exclusionary language available on market undermines...

Recently, in a non-precedential order, an Illinois appellate court correctly held that a “Pollution and Health Hazard Exclusion” in a commercial general liability policy did not preclude coverage for mold-related bodily...more

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

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