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United Coop. v. Frontier FS Coop.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20192
Nos. No. 2006AP2704, (Wis. Ct. App., 07/12/2007)

A Wisconsin appellate court held that a lower court erred in dismissing insurers from a property owner's breach of contract claim against the former owner of the property for environmental contamination. As part of the sales contract between the former and current owners, the former owner warranted that it had never used the property for certain activities that might cause soil or groundwater contamination. The former owner also promised to indemnify the current owner for any breach of warranty or claim arising out of the former owner's operations, including environmental liability. Fifteen years later, the current owner discovered significant soil contamination on the property. It alleges that the former owner's operations or conduct caused the contamination. Insurers for the former owner argued that various exclusions contained in the former owner's insurance policies barred coverage. But except for those policies containing pollution exclusions, the court cannot conclude that the policies do not provide coverage based on the allegations in the complaint. Accordingly, it reversed the lower court's order granting summary judgment to the insurers and remanded the case for further proceedings.