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Paul Oil Co. v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co.

Citation: 29 ELR 20136
No. 97-16190, 154 F.3d 1049/(9th Cir., 09/08/1998)

The court holds that an insurance company has no duty to defend or indemnify a property owner in a suit alleging gasoline contamination of an adjacent property. The court first holds that the insurance company was liable only for claims made during the policy period. The claims filed by the property owner after the cancellation of the policy are not covered. The court next holds that the suit was baseless because the insurance claims advanced by the property owner were for enormous gas spillages that could not have occurred in the four years in which the company occupied the premises. The property owner kept a close inventory record and the enormous gas spillages could not have occurred during this time period. The court finally holds that whether counsel assisted in a sham declaration by the property owner and provided inaccurate information concerning the unavailability of a witness are questions that bear on the integrity of the bar and should be determined by the district court.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Lori T. Okun
Greben & Associates
Wells Fargo Center
400 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1100, Sacramento CA 95844
(916) 558-6148

Counsel for Defendant
Thomas H. Crouch
Meagher & Geer
4200 Multifoods Tower
33 S. 6th St., Minneapolis MN 55402
(612) 338-0661

Before Reinhardt and Thompson, JJ.