Judgment For Client Regarding Lack Of Coverage For Environmental Cleanup
January 1, 2011
The California Court of Appeal has affirmed summary judgment entered in favor of Selman Breitman's insurer client on the question of whether the insurer owed any obligation to the insured property owner regarding an environmental pollution cleanup. Based on the work of Jeffrey Segal, Ilya Kosten and Angela Zanin-Wog, the appellate court has agreed with the trial court that the insurer did not owe a duty to defend or indemnify the insured because a liability insurer could not be required to defend or indemnify an insured for liabilities arising from property that the insured did not own during the policy period. The court agrees that, pursuant to California insurance law, there is no coverage for an insured landowner's liability to pay costs to clean property that was damaged during the policy period when the insured landowner did not acquire the property under after the policy expired. It is not reasonable to require an insurer to cover liabilities based on facts that did not happen until after the policy period, and the insured could not have reasonably expected coverage for a loss that was not a liability of the insured at any time during the policy period.
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