Category Archives: Pollution exclusion

Can companies that recycle waste into other products ensure insurance coverage?

In Christie Smythe’s article “Innovative Recycling Cos. Battle Pollution Exclusions” for Law360, she discusses whether companies “that recycle waste by converting it into products — turning tires into mulch or turkey offal into biodiesel, for instance” will get coverage for pollution-based claims, even if the policyholders told their insurance companies about the nature of their business.  The story is an interesting tale of companies that convert energy byproducts and agricultural waste into other products and their efforts to get insurance coverage for claims against them.

Ms. Smythe was kind enough to quote me at the end of the article.  I explained a best practice for corporate policyholders, in light of insurance industry practice.  Want to read the quote?  Click on over to the full article to read more.

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2010.

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Steve Goldberg on “Sorting Out a Liability Mess”: An Analysis of State of California v. Allstate Insurance Company

Steve Goldberg My former colleague, Steve Goldberg, recently wrote a column for the Los Angeles Daily Journal regarding the recent State of California v. Allstate Insurance Company insurance coverage decision relating to the Stringfellow Acid Pits, including a discussion of the pollution exclusion.

Victoria Pynchon There is a nice excerpt of the article on Victoria Pynchon’s terrific Settle It Now Negotiation Blog, which begins:

In State of California v. Allstate Insurance Company, 2009 DJDAR 3425 (March 9, 2009), the California Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for a handful of insurance carriers who refused to defend the state against and indemnify it for liabilities arising from an infamous toxic waste site – the Stringfellow Acid Pits. Neither this opinion, nor another in the same matter handed down by the 4th Appellate District in January, finally resolves the state’s claims. Instead, both courts sent two groups of insurance carriers back to the trial court for further proceedings. In both, the insurers lost significant battles but will no doubt continue the fight on yet another day.

Continue reading Steve’s article here.

The take away from this article for risk managers and in house counsel is that coverage may be available for liabilities even after coverage has been denied.  Insurance coverage always is important to policyholders, but in an economic downturn, insurance coverage is essential.

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Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2009.