Angela Elbert, chair of the Insurance Policyholder practice group, was recently quoted in the Business Insurance article “Liberty Mutual must cover Illinois city in pollution suit.” The article covers a recent Illinois state appeals court ruling that Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. must provide defense and indemnification to the City of Sycamore, Illinois, in a lawsuit filed by residents who claimed harm from the city's deteriorating water main system. The court overturned a lower court ruling, stating that the pollution exclusions in Liberty Mutual's coverage did not apply because the alleged harm did not qualify as "traditional environmental pollution," clarifying that contaminants inside pipes and homes are not excluded.
Elbert expressed her satisfaction with the ruling, stating, "We think this was an important ruling because the Court confirmed that the scope of pollution exclusions is limited to 'traditional environmental pollution.' They are not 'total' or 'absolute' exclusions, despite their name."
NGE attorneys Paul Walker-Bright and Ben Boris were also on the NGE team that successfully represented the city in this case.
Click here to read the article on Business Insurance.
The ruling was also covered in Law360. Click here to read their coverage of the ruling (subscription may be required).