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McGregor v. Allamerica Ins. Co.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20167
Nos. No. SJC-09735, (Mass., 07/10/2007)

The court held that a home heating oil spill that occurred during a company's installation of a furnace at a client's home is excluded from coverage under the company's commercial general liability policy. The company argued that its insurer had the duty to defend or indemnify the company in an underlying suit filed against it by the client. But the oil leak is excluded by the insurance policy's pollution exclusion clause. A policyholder reading the company's policy could reasonably expect that oil leaking into the ground constitutes a pollutant within the meaning of the policy. The claims in the underlying suit allege just such a circumstance and, therefore, unambiguously fit within the pollution exclusion of the policy. The lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the company was therefore reversed.