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  • Expert Testimony Properly Excluded In Contamination Dispute, 7th Circuit Says
    CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed a district court's ruling in favor of an insurer on the applicability of the sudden and accidental exception to a policy's pollution exclusion, agreeing with the lower court's finding that the insured could not prove that the contamination was sudden and accidental because the insured's expert testimony was inadmissible (Varlen Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-3212, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14529).

  • No Coverage Owed For Environmental Cleanup Costs, 9th Circuit Affirms
    SAN FRANCISCO - An umbrella liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying suit seeking environmental contamination cleanup costs because the policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for cleanup costs, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 16 in affirming a district court's ruling (RLI Insurance Co. v. Visalia, No. 18-15668, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14556).

  • Insurer Seeks Reimbursement For Damages Caused By Engine Failure In Fracking Pump Unit
    BEAUMONT, Texas - An insurer argues in a May 13 motion for summary judgment filed in Texas federal court that it is entitled to reimbursement from the manufacturers of a fracking pump unit for more than $15 million in costs paid on behalf of its insured for damages incurred after the fracking unit malfunctioned and caused a fire at the well site (AIG Europe Ltd. v. Caterpillar Inc. and Dragon Products LLC, No. 17-319, E.D. Texas).

  • Insured Files Suit Seeking More Than $40M In Damages For Gas Well Explosion
    PITTSBURGH - An insured seeking coverage for pollution costs and damages caused by a gas well that spewed drilling fluid and fracking materials above the surface of the ground claims in a May 15 complaint filed in Pennsylvania state court that its insurers breached their contract and acted in bad faith in denying coverage for the more than $40 million in damages incurred by the insured (CNX Gas Co. LLC v. Lloyd's of London, et al., No. GD-19-007029, Pa. Comm. Pls., Allegheny Co.).

  • Workers' Comp Insurer Urges Montana High Court To Reject Asbestos Liability
    HELENA, Mont. - The court should reject a plaintiff's "distorted" and backward-working attempt at creating liability on behalf of a workers' compensation insurer for asbestos exposures and instead adopt sound analytical framework from the Restatement of Torts, an insurer tells the Montana Supreme Court in a May 3 reply brief (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).

Scott Strait