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Ocean Partners, Ltd. Liab. Co. v. North River Ins. Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20035
Nos. No. 04-00470, (S.D.N.Y., 01/14/2008)

A magistrate judge denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a case seeking coverage for damages sustained to a building during the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. The insurance policy contained a pollution exclusion clause, but because of the "virtually boundless" array of possible applications of the term "contamination" in the exclusion provision, the exclusion is ambiguous. As such, the matter should be resolved before a trier of fact. The policy also contained a collapse exclusion, but the magistrate rejected the insurer's argument that the collapse of the World Trade Center was the "efficient cause" of the loss. Accordingly, the insurer is not entitled to a ruling that the collapse exclusion bars coverage.