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Buell Indus., Inc. v. Greater New York Mut. Ins. Co.

ELR Citation: 32 ELR 20480
Nos. No. SC 16464, 791 A.2d 489/(Conn., 02/26/2002)

The court holds that the sudden and accidental exception to the pollution exclusion clause contained in a manufacturing company's comprehensive general liability policies bars coverage for trichloroethylene contamination at its facilities. The company argued that the sudden and accidental exception to the policies' pollution exclusion clause covers the releases at issue because the term "sudden" should be understood to mean unexpected. The court first holds, however, that as used in the policies the term "sudden" includes a temporal quality, which requires that the onset of the release in question occurs quickly or happens abruptly. Thus, the release of pollutants over an extended period of time cannot qualify as "sudden." In addition, no genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether sudden releases occurred at the facilities. The court next holds that the policies' personal injury provisions do not entitle the manufacturer to coverage because the provisions were not intended to cover damages for pollution-related claims.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (27 pp., ELR Order No. L-454).

Counsel for Plaintiff
Francis J. Brady
Murtha & Cullina
185 Asylum St., Hartford CT 06103
(860) 240-6000

Counsel for Defendant
Joel M. Fain
Morrison, Mahoney & Miller
100 Pearl St., 10th Fl., Hartford CT 06103
(860) 616-4441