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Parker Solvents Co. v. Royal Ins. Cos. of Am.

ELR Citation: 22 ELR 20657
Nos. No. 90-2224, 950 F.2d 571/(8th Cir., 12/09/1991)

The court holds that under Arkansas law, the phrase "as damages" in the insuring clause of a standard form comprehensive general liability policy does not cover cleanup costs incurred pursuant to a consent decree between the insured and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The court reviews the question de novo, consistent with summary remand from the U.S. Supreme Court. Since no Arkansas cases are on point, the court finds controlling its prior en banc decision in Continental Insurance Cos. v. Northeastern Pharmaceutical & Chemical Co. (NEPACCO), 18 ELR 20819, which construed the phrase "as damages" under Missouri law as not covering consent decree-related cleanup costs. The governing principles of insurance law are the same in Arkansas and Missouri, and no Arkansas cases on closely related issues suggest that the Supreme Court of Arkansas might reach a different result than that in NEPACCO.

Counsel for Appellant
Paul K. Holmes, G. Alan Wooten
Warner & Smith
214 N. 6th St., P.O. Box 1626, Fort Smith AR 72901
(501) 782-6041

Counsel for Appellee
M. Stephen Bingham
Barber, McCaskill, Amsler, Jones & Hale
1200 Union National Plaza, Little Rock AR 72201
(501)372-6175

Before FAGG, Circuit Judge, SNEED,* Senior Circuit Judge, and LOKEN, Circuit Judge.