Archives: Environmental coverage

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Direct Actions against Insurance Companies

Labor Day has just passed as I write this, and this summer (that went by too quickly) was a busy one for the New Jersey appellate courts, insurance-wise.  The New Jersey Supremes, for example,  dealt with a question often posed by our clients in construction defect cases: Namely, can a claimant proceed directly against a … Continue Reading

The Allocation of Defense Costs in Long-Tail Claims

The great CLE instructor Jim McElhaney, a Professor Emeritus at Case Western, used to tell the story of a “professional expert” testifying at trial on cross-examination.  The guy was apparently a kindly old gentleman with an Irish brogue, and also an engineer, and indeed made most of his money in the litigation game. “You’re a … Continue Reading

Insolvent Carriers and Allocation of Loss

When I started in this business (yikes, a long time ago), we used to argue with insurance companies a lot about scintillating issues like whether environmental cleanup costs constituted “damages” under CGL policies, and whether “sudden” meant “abrupt” for purposes of the pollution exclusion. In fact, many coverage lawyers have sent their kids to college … Continue Reading

The “Absolute” Pollution Exclusion

In State Automobile Mutual Ins. Co. v. Flexdar, the Indiana Supreme Court has just held that the so-called “absolute” pollution exclusion contained in general liability insurance policies from 1986 forward is ambiguous and unenforceable.  The Court basically found that the exclusion does not define “pollutant” with sufficient specificity, and that, read literally, the exclusion would … Continue Reading

The statute of limitations for insurance claims

A couple of weeks ago, we got a nice result ($13 million verdict) following a three-month trial in BASF Catalysts, LLC v. Allstate Insurance Company, one of the last great complex environmental coverage beasts.  We had the pleasure of co-counseling the matter with Dave Oberdick and his team from the Pittsburgh, PA firm of Meyer, Unkovic … Continue Reading