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Royal Ins. Co. of Am. v. Kirksville College of Osteopathic Med.

ELR Citation: 30 ELR 20148
Nos. No. 98-2491, 191 F.3d 959/(8th Cir., 09/15/1999)

Applying Missouri law, the court holds that insurers had a duty to defend a college in a trespass claim against its neighbor. The neighbor filed negligence and trespass claims against the college after the college punctured an underground storage tank on the neighbor's property. The court first holds that the comprehensive general liability policies contain absolute pollution exclusion clauses that unambiguously preclude coverage for any property damage caused by the college's negligence. However, the court next holds that the insurers have a duty to defend the college based on the personal injury provisions in the policies. The neighbor's claim of trespass falls within the "wrongful entry" and "invasion of the right of private occupancy" provisions of the policies' personal injury sections, which did not contain pollution exclusion clauses. The pollution exclusion clauses contained in the property damage provisions do not apply to the personal injury provisions of the policies. The court finds that wrongful entry or invasion by a non-owner is includable for coverage under the personal injury provisions of the policies. Finally, the court holds that the personal injury sections of the policies include claims for property damage.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John L. Hayob
Niewald & Waldeck
120 W. 12th St., Ste. 1300, Kansas City MO 64105
(816) 471-7000

Counsel for Defendant
Richard D. Rhyne
Craft & Fridkin
4435 Main St., Kansas City MO 64111
(816) 735-3222

Before McMillian and Murphy, JJ.