Hinkhouse Williams Walsh

Pollution Exclusions Bar Coverage For Environmental Contamination Suit

On behalf of National Surety Corporation and The American Insurance Company, HWW recently prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in an action that was pending in Missouri state court. The court found that Missouri law applied to numerous insurance policies issued to an insured who operated a printing facility in Indiana, where environmental contamination was discovered, but was headquartered in Missouri, where it operated another printing facility.  The court then held that the pollution exclusions, including several "sudden and accidental" pollution exclusions, barred the insured’s claim for coverage for the alleged gradual release of pollutants from the Indiana site.  This is a significant ruling, both as a rejection of the insured’s argument that the law of the site where liability arises should control, and as an application of the "sudden and accidental" pollution exclusion under Missouri law.  The policyholder was represented by Barnes & Thornburg in Indiana.  

Click Here for Article
Click Here for Judgment