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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Pollution Liability Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Pollution Liability Legal News

Headline Pollution Liability Legal News from LexisNexis®


5th Circuit Orders Judge To Provide Basis For Clean Water Act Ruling
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Texas was ordered on Nov. 7 to rewrite a decision awarding summary judgment to defendants accused of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), after a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that the eight-page opinion was "bereft of citations to record evidence" and that it "provides this court with virtually no guidance as to how the court applied the facts to the law" (United States of America v. Thomas E. Lipar, et al., No. 15-20625, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20095).

Judge Declines To Rule If Emissions From Rail Cars Violate Clean Water Act
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 25 refused to find BNSF Railway Co. liable for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) when coal dust emissions from open railroad cars land on the ground during transportation, finding that there is no scientific proof showing how the dust can enter waterways in the state (Sierra Club, et al. v. BNSF Railway Company, No. C13-967, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147786).

Meat Distributor To Pay $43,000 Over Excessive Stormwater Discharges
LENEXA, Kan. - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 13 that an Iowa-based meat and poultry distributor has agreed to pay $43,000 for excessive discharges of stormwater into Hecker Creek.

Judge Says ASARCO Can Intervene In CERCLA Suit, But Not Seek Discovery
TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Oct. 27 ruled that ASARCO could intervene in a lawsuit brought by the federal government and state of Oklahoma against two companies accused of contributing to contamination at the Tar Creek Superfund site because a proposed settlement between the parties could affect ASARCO's ability to seek contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (United States of America, et al. v. Doe Run Resources Corporation, et al., No. 15-CV-0663-CVE-TLW, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148959).

Judge Dismisses Suit Over Oil Spill Brought By Chinese Fishermen
HOUSTON - A lawsuit brought by 30 Chinese fishermen over an oil spill in the Bohai Sea in June 2011 was dismissed by a federal judge in Texas on Nov. 8, who ruled that "this is a dispute among three Chinese parties about Chinese waters, it belongs in China" (Peiqing Cong, et al. v. ConocoPhillips Company, No. H-12-cv-1976, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154508).

Volkswagen Emissions MDL Judge Enters Final Approval Of $14.7B Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 25 granted plaintiffs' request for final approval of a $14.7 billion settlement to resolve allegations over Volkswagen AG's installation of a defeat device designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive state and federal regulators, ruling that the settlement is fair and reasonable (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, N.D. Calif.).

Court Denies Petition To Review Ruling Denying Dismissal Of Counties' Suits
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appellate panel on Nov. 4 denied a petition for interlocutory appeal filed by the state of Texas of a ruling denying its request to dismiss lawsuits brought by 18 counties accusing Volkswagen of violating the Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) by installing devices designed to cheat emissions tests, finding that a review of the decision would not materially advance the litigation (In re: Volkswagen Clean Diesel Litigation: Texas Clean Air Enforcement Actions, No. 03-16-00673-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 11978).

New Jersey Appeals Court Finds Settlement With Environmental Agency Was Not Final
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not breach the terms of a settlement agreement with Cumberland Farms Inc. when naming the company as a defendant in lawsuits over contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in New York federal court, a New Jersey appeals court panel ruled Nov. 2, after finding that the agreement was not final and enforceable (Cumberland Farms Inc. v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, No. A-4355-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super., LEXIS 139).

Dismissal Of Contamination Suit Too Drastic A Sanction, New Jersey Panel Rules
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey judge's decision to dismiss a suit over contamination at a property that formerly housed printing operations as a sanction for the plaintiff's spoliation of evidence was too drastic, a state appeals panel ruled Oct. 31, holding that the lower court failed to consider the possibility of lesser sanctions, such as an adverse inference (18-01 Pollitt Drive LLC v. Harvey Engel, et al., No. A-4833-13T3, N.J. Super, App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2360).

Agency Acted Properly When Fining Company Over Site Remediation, Court Says
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not err when ordering a company to pay $40,500 in fines for failing to remediate a site that it previously used for manufacturing wood-working materials, a New Jersey appeals court panel ruled Nov. 3, finding that the evidence shows that the company failed to comply with the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Hood Finishing Products Inc., No. A-3955-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2407).

Company To Pay $1.6M, Transfer Stocks To Reimburse EPA For Cleanup Costs
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - WestRock LP on Nov. 1 agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $1.6 million and transfer nearly $3 million in stock to the agency to partially reimburse it for cleaning up contamination at a former wood treating plant in Prescott, according to a docket entry in Arizona federal court (United States of America v. WestRock LP, No.16-CV-08247, D. Ariz.).

EPA: Fiber Products Maker To Pay $150,000 For RCRA Violations
BOSTON - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 27 that Lowell, Mass.-based Specialty Materials Inc. agreed to pay $150,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

California Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss In Sewage Spill Coverage Suit
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 31 refused to dismiss an insurer's claims against its insured and two underlying plaintiffs in a dispute over coverage for a sewage spill after determining that federal jurisdiction is proper as the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional requirement (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Mountain Movers Engineering Contactors Inc., No. 16-2127, S.D. Calif.).

Insurer Argues Settlement Agreement Barred Claims For Cleanup Costs
CINCINNATI - An insurer argues in a Nov. 1 response brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court correctly found that a 1994 settlement agreement bars coverage for any future claims arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 16-3463, 6th Cir.).

Insurer Says Federal Judge Erred In Finding Sewage Is Not Excluded From Coverage
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An insurer on Oct. 20 moved for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for certification of interlocutory appeal, arguing that an Alabama federal judge erroneously applied a total pollution exclusion as if it were a qualified pollution exclusion and in doing so, incorrectly determined that the total pollution exclusion cannot be asserted as a bar to coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from sewage exposure (Evanston Insurance Co. v. J&J Cable Construction LLC, et al., No. 15-506, M.D. Ala.).

Insurer Argues That Res Judicata Bars Plaintiffs From Collecting Damages
INDIANAPOLIS - An insurer filed a motion for summary judgment on Oct. 14 in an Indiana federal court, arguing that it has no duty to defend its insured against claims arising out of environmental contamination because the plaintiffs' claims are barred by res judicata (Carmine Greene, et al. v. Kenneth Will, et al., No. 09-510, N.D. Ind.).

Forecasting Rough Waters On The Horizon: EPA Overreach And The Clean Water Act
By George Buermann and Oliver Twaddell The public has seen an incredible increase in both frequency and boldness of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) overreach that severely impacts local communities, industry, businesses, and in some instances, private citizens who are simply trying to enjoy the fruits of their own private land. The overexertion of federal power rears its head in all shapes and sizes-to the casual farmer enjoying his secluded piece of acreage to the EPA officials that are absolved because of their job title. David vs. Goliath

9th Circuit Panel Denies Petitions For En Banc Review Of CERCLA Ruling
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 11 denied petitions from the State of Washington and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation seeking an en banc review of a July 27 ruling in which the panel held that a Canadian company's emissions from its smelter cannot be considered a disposal of hazardous waste under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Joseph Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., No. 15-35228, 9th Cir.).

Judge: Government's Closure Of Mine Does Not Make It An Operator
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The federal government's enforcement of War Production Board Limitation Order L-208(Rule L-208) during World War II at the Lava Cap Mine does not make it an operator under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 21 in granting the government's motion for summary judgment on a defendant's counterclaim for contribution (United States of America, et al. v. Sterling Centrecorp Inc., et al., No. 08-cv-02556, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128371).

Judge Overrules Argument That Government's Cost Recovery Claim In Untimely
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 22 overruled a railroad roundhouse operator's argument that the statute of limitations barred the government's cost recovery claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that the tolling period did not begin to run until the U.S. Army issued a record of decision (ROD) in September 2015 stating that removal actions at a portion of the Fort Devens Superfund site in Ayers, Mass., were complete (United States of America v. Boston and Maine Corporation v. Town of Ayer, Mass., No. 13-10087-IT, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129726).

Judge Affirms Station Owner's Arbitration Award, Finds Remediation Company Liable
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 4 affirmed an arbitrator's award in favor of gas station owner that found a remediation company liable for breach of contract for failing to inform the owner that petroleum contamination at a neighboring property was caused by another gas station and awarded summary judgment to the owner on the issue (The Plumbing Supply LLC, d/b/a Faucet Works v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., et al., No. 14-3674, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138362).

Judge: Property Owner Not Entitled To $9.7M In Damages For Access
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A defendant property owner can recover only $72,964 in damages for providing access to its land in order for a plaintiff company to remediate trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Sept. 15, finding that the defendant's request for $9.7 million in damages stemmed from the amount of time the plaintiff company has spent on remediation efforts (Newell Brands Inc. v. Kirsch Lofts LLC, No. 15-CV-597, W.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125987).

Government's Circumstantial Evidence Supports Verdict Over Dumping, Judge Rules
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A septic tank installer's conviction for discharging an estimated 1,000 gallons of raw sewage into Wildcat Creek in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) was affirmed by a federal judge in Kentucky on Oct. 6, after he found that the government's circumstantial evidence was still sufficient to support the jury's finding (United States of America v. David Giles, No. 16-cr-0004-GFVT-REW, E.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139072).

Judge Denies Motion To Reconsider Ruling Denying Request For Fees, Costs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California did not apply too narrow of a standard when denying an environmental group's request for $1.2 million in attorney fees and costs in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit, another federal judge held Sept. 23 in denying the group's motion to reconsider the decision, holding that the group did not provide proper documentation to support the requested amount (California Sportfishing Protection Alliance v. Chico Scrap Metal Inc., et al., No. 10-cv-01207-GEB-AC, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130807).

Man's Suit Over Volkswagen's Emissions Belongs In State Court, Judge Rules
NEWARK, N.J. - A man's lawsuit claiming that Volkswagen Group of America Inc. violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and other state laws when marketing "clean diesel" vehicles that contained a defeat device to beat emissions tests belongs in state court because the allegations do not raise a federal question, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Oct. 4 (Christopher Ruzich v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. 16-4753, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138436).

DOJ: 4 Companies To Pay $3.5M Over Clean Air Act Violations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 11 that four companies have agreed to pay $3.5 million for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of releases of hazardous pollutants at two oil- and chemical-processing facilities in Texas.

ExxonMobil Pipeline To Pay $12M Over 2011 Spill Into Yellowstone River
BILLINGS, Mont. - ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. on Sept. 21 agreed to pay $12 million to the federal government and State of Montana to compensate for natural resources damages to the Yellowstone River that occurred following an oil spill in July 2011 (United States of America, et al. v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, No. 16-cv-143, D. Mont.).

Companies: C8 Groundwater Contamination Case Should Be Dismissed; Injury Not Shown
ALBANY, N.Y. - Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. on Sept. 26 moved in New York federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a class of residents who contend that the companies are liable for contaminating their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid, referred to as C8, contending that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that the claims should be dismissed under the primary jurisdiction doctrine (Michelle Baker, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 16-917, N.D. N.Y.).

5th Circuit Says Pollution Endorsement Does Not Exclude All Underlying Claims
NEW ORLEANS - A district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer based on its policy's pollution endorsement because it is not clear that the endorsement excludes coverage for all of the underlying claims alleged against an insured, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 16 (Federal Insurance Co. v. Northfield Insurance Co., No. 14-20633, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17008).

California Federal Judge Allows U.S. Navy To Intervene In Contamination Dispute
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 6 granted a motion to intervene filed by the U.S. Department of the Navy in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the addition of the Navy as a party to the suit will not prejudice the insurer and will help the court in developing the facts at issue (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139383).

Missouri Panel: Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage For Underlying Suits
ST. LOUIS - The Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals on Sept. 27 affirmed that a pollution exclusion cannot be used as a bar to coverage for underlying toxic tort claims because the exclusion, as used in the policy at issue, is ambiguous (The Doe Run Resources Corp. v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance, et al., No. ED103026, Mo. App., Eastern Div., Div. 3; 2016 Mo. App. LEXIS 964).

9th Circuit: EPA Did Not Act Capriciously In Approving Building Permit
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when approving a permit that allowed Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. to build a biomass-burning power plant at its lumber mill in California, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 2, finding that the agency properly considered the company's design and purpose for burning biowaste material (Helping Hand Tools, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-72553, Center of Biological Diversity v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-72602, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16262).

Mid Pac Petroleum Agrees To Spend $632,000 To Limit VOC Emissions
HONOLULU - Mid Pac Petroleum LLC on Sept. 7 agreed to spend $432,000 to install required vapor pollution controls and comply with a volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution limit at its gasoline storage facility, as well as pay a $200,000 civil penalty for violating the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced.

Judge Finds Company Liable For Violating CERCLA, HSCA; Costs Unclear
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 30 granted in part a motion for summary judgment filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), ruling that the purchaser of a contaminated site can be held liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Pennsylvania's Hazardous Site Cleanup Act (HSCA) for response costs incurred after it took ownership of the property (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection v. Trainer Custom Chemical LLC, et al., No. 15-1232, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116139).

Judge Says Defendant Company Can Pursue Cost-Recovery, Contribution Claims
RENO, Nev. - A defendant company can pursue claims for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against a plaintiff and third-party defendant, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Aug. 26, holding that the third-party defendant was an operator of the site at issue and that the costs it seeks to recover are different from those sought by the plaintiff company (Diamond X Ranch LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 13-cv-00570, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114799).

3rd Circuit Panel Will Not Rehear Appeal Of Pollution Claims Against Flintkote
PHILADELPHIA - A two-judge panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 declined to reconsider its decision rejecting an appeal by a corporate property owner seeking to hold Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. liable for pollution at an old New Jersey manufacturing site (8 E. Frederick Place LLC v. The Flintkote Co., et al., No. 15-2886, 3rd Cir.).

Rutgers Organics To Pay $20.2M To Cleanup, Restore Ohio Superfund Site
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Rutgers Organics Corp. on Sept. 9 agreed to pay $18.75 million to clean up contamination at the Nease Superfund site in Salem, Ohio, and spend $500,000 to restore damaged natural resources, according to a lawsuit and consent decree filed in Ohio federal court (United States of America, et al. v. Rutgers Organics Corporation, No. 16-cv-02254, N.D. Ohio).

Magistrate Judge: Photos Show Defendants Polluted Creek, Violated Consent Decree
NEW YORK- A federal magistrate judge in New York on Aug. 16 ordered a defendant company and its owner to pay $50,000 to an environmental group and reimburse it for $79,776.39 in attorney fees and costs, finding that photographs submitted by the plaintiff group showed that the defendants violated the terms of a consent decree that prohibited them from committing any further violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (Riverkeeper Inc. v. Brooklyn Ready Mix Concrete LLC, et al., No. 14-cv-1055, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108357).

Judge: Damages Caused By 'Orphaned Anchors' Not Preempted By Clean Water Act
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 7 ruled that three workers who were onboard an oyster harvesting boat that got caught on anchors left behind following response actions to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig can pursue claims for negligence under maritime law, finding that their claims are not preempted by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and not covered by the economic and property damages settlement (Brian Winkler, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., No. 16-2715, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120541).

Magistrate Judge Says Man's Bladder Tumor Suit Should Be Transferred
NEW ORLEANS - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on Sept. 7 held that a man's lawsuit claiming that he developed a bladder tumor as a result of exposure to oil and dispersants during response actions following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico is better suited for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana because it is where the plaintiff lives and where his medical professionals are located (James Worley v. BP Production & Exploration Inc., et al., No. 16-3620, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121786).

Rhode Island Sues 34 Companies Over Water Contamination From MTBE, TBA
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The State of Rhode Island on Sept. 6 filed a lawsuit in federal court against 34 companies that sold gasoline containing the additives methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and tert butyl alcohol (TBA), seeking to recover the costs for cleaning up groundwater contaminated by the chemical (State of Rhode Island v. Alon Refining Krotz Springs, et al., No. CA16-495, D. R.I.).

Alaska High Court Says Tainted Groundwater Case Not Barred By Statute
JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Supreme Court on Aug. 26 ruled that a refinery owner's claim for indemnification against the refinery's previous owner, which was related to a lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination brought by a local resident, was not barred by the statute of limitations (Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC v. Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc., et al., No. S-15654, Alaska Sup.).

Navajo Nation Sues EPA, Mining Companies For 2015 Spill Of Toxic Mine Water
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Navajo Nation sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several mining companies Aug. 16 in New Mexico federal court, seeking to hold the EPA and companies liable for a massive release of contaminated mine water a year ago that polluted the San Juan River, one of the tribe's "most important sources of water for life and livelihood" (Navajo Nation v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 1:16-cv-931, D. N.M.).

2nd Circuit Affirms No Coverage Owed For Claims Arising Out Of Oil Spill
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 affirmed that no coverage exists for an underlying lawsuit alleging claims against an insured as a result of an oil spill because the policies at issue clearly exclude coverage for the underlying claims (Petroterminal De Panama S.A. v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-2941, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16629).

9th Circuit Says Watercraft Exclusion Bars Coverage For Contaminated Fish
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 affirmed a judgment entered in favor of an insured on a breach of contract claim in a petroleum contamination coverage suit, agreeing with a district court's determination that a watercraft exclusion bars coverage for the insured's fish oil that was contaminated with oil while stored on a ship (Trident Seafoods Corp., v. ACE American Insurance Co., No. 13-36035, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16595).

EPA Letter Constitutes Suit, Triggers Carrier's Duty To Defend, New Jersey Judge Says
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey judge on Aug. 30 granted an insured's motion for summary judgment after determining that a general notice letter issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a suit under the terms of insurance policies at issue and triggers the insurer's duty to defend (Cooper Industries LLC v. Employers Insurance of Wausau et al., No. L-9284-11, N.J. Super., Essex Co. Law Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2003).

New York Panel Says No Coverage Due For Time When No Insurance Was Available
NEW YORK - The First Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division on Sept. 1 determined than an excess insurer does not owe coverage to its insured for the time periods when the insured was unable to purchase environmental liability insurance coverage because the excess insurer's policies specifically state that coverage is afforded only for damages occurring during the policy period (Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., et al., No. 604715/1997, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5824).

Georgia Panel Affirms Judgment In Favor Of Insured, Says Coverage Was Triggered
ATLANTA - The Fourth Division Georgia Court of Appeals on Aug. 31 affirmed a trial court's judgment that an excess insurer owes coverage for environmental contamination arising out of a pipeline leak because the excess insurer's policy provides coverage for occurrences that arise during the policy period and does not require that the actual injury or property damage occur during the policy period (Columbia Casualty Co. v. Plantation Pipe Line Co., No. A16A0705, Ga. App., 4th Div.; 2016 Ga. App. LEXIS 496).