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Powerine Oil Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Citation: 35 ELR 20176
No. Nos. S113295, (Cal., 08/29/2005)

The court holds that an oil company's insurer must indemnify the company for environmental cleanup and abatement costs ordered by a state administrative agency. In a previous case concerning another insurer of the company, the court held that the insurer's duty to indemnify the company for "all sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages" under the standard comprehensive general liability insurance policy involved in that case was limited to "money ordered by a court" and did not extend to administrative cleanup orders. Here, however, the express wording of the excess/umbrella policies at issue goes well beyond mere coverage for court-ordered money damages and is broad enough to include coverage for the liability of environmental cleanup and response costs ordered by an administrative agency.