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National Indem. Co. v. U.S. Pollution Control, Inc.

ELR Citation: 19 ELR 21449
Nos. No. CIV-88-656-W, 717 F. Supp. 765/(W.D. Okla., 05/01/1989)

The court holds that response costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) are covered under insurance policies as "damages" resulting from "property damage." The court first holds that CERCLA response costs are "damages." The term should be given its plain meaning, and the insurance policy's definition of "damages," which specifies what the term includes, leaves it open to interpretation. The dictionary definition of damages makes no distinction between legal and equitable actions. The court next holds that CERCLA response costs are the result of "property damage" within the meaning of the insurance policies. "Property damage" includes that which is caused by environmental contamination.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ray H. Wilburn, Richard W. Wassall
Wilburn, Masterson & Holden
Atlanta South Bldg., 2526-A E. 71st St., Tulsa OK 74136
(918) 494-0414

Counsel for Defendant
George W. Dahnke
Hastie & Kirschner
3000 First Oklahoma Tower, 210 W. Park Ave., Oklahoma City OK 73102
(405) 239-6404

Robert L. Tofel
Fine, Tofel, Saxl & Berelson
823 United Nations Plaza, New York NY 10017
(212) 490-0700