Clarifying 'Sudden And Accidental' Pollution Coverage

Law360, New York (March 17, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In California v. Allstate Ins. Co. (March 9, 2009) 2009 Cal. LEXIS 1640 (Allstate), the California Supreme Court considered whether Comprehensive General Liability (“CGL”) policies insuring against liability for damage caused by the sudden accidental release of pollutants might cover cleanup liabilities imposed on the state of California because of discharges from its Stringfellow hazardous waste disposal facility.

Applying long-standing principles of California law, a unanimous court held, among other things:

1) that an insured who proves that covered sudden and accidental releases of pollutants contributed...
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