Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Jabar
Citation: 30 ELR 20026
No. No. 98-2158, 188 F.3d 27/(1st Cir., 08/30/1999)
The court upholds the granting of summary judgment to an insured based on the ambiguity of terms used in the total pollution exclusion clause in the insurance policy. The court first holds that the total pollution exclusion clause is ambiguous as applied to the claim in question because an ordinarily intelligent insured could reasonably interpret the pollution exclusion clause as applying only to environmental pollution and thereby covering personal injury claims. Based on terms such as "discharge," "dispersal," "release," and "escape" used in the exclusion clause, it is reasonable that an insured would understand the provision to exclude coverage only for injuries caused by traditional environmental pollution. The court also holds that the use of the term "pollutant" in the exclusion clause is ambiguous and therefore limits the exclusion's scope to only those hazards traditionally associated with environmental pollution.
Counsel for Plaintiff
Kevin J. Beal
Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios
P.O. Box 11410, Portland ME 04104
Counsel for Defendant
Joseph M. Jabar Sr.
Daviau, Jabar& Batten
One Center St., Waterville ME 04901
Before Noonan* and Lynch, JJ.