Environmental Coverage Defense Verdict

Carl E. Forsberg, Matthew S. Adams and Charlie A. Henty represented insurers who issued policies with combined liability limits in excess of $50 million in a multiparty contribution lawsuit regarding potential coverage for over 1,000 toxic tort claims and environmental claims arising out of polluted sites across the country.  A seven week jury trial resulted in a partial defense verdict, with the jury concluding that the pollution exclusions in various policies precluded coverage for the environmental claims. The plaintiff insurer filed an interlocutory appeal seeking reversal of the successful pollution exclusion verdict, and our clients cross-assigned error on the denial of a directed verdict motion regarding the viability of all of the plaintiff’s contribution claims.  The appellate court ruled in favor of our clients, holding that the trial court erred by denying the motion for directed verdict.