9th Circ. Says Insurers Must Cover EPA Superfund Query

Law360, Los Angeles (May 11, 2016, 4:21 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a lower court's decision that an information request issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in connection with an investigation into a Superfund cleanup site is a "suit" triggering an insurer's duty to defend, following the rationale of a previous ruling by the appellate court.

In a brief unpublished opinion, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled that a letter that the EPA sent to Ash Grove Cement Co. under Section 104(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act counts as a suit that triggers two general liability insurers' defense obligations.

The EPA issued the...

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