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Precision Castparts Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20164
Nos. No. 04-1699, (D. Or., 06/12/2008)

A district court held that under Oregon law, a pollution exclusion clause bars coverage for unintended water contamination stemming from a company's intentional discharge of thorium into a city sewer system. The company thought that natural forces would dissipate the waste rendering it harmless. They therefore argued that the contamination was sudden and accidental. The issue, however, is whether the release was sudden and accidental, not whether the damage was sudden and accidental. Because the company's discharge of thorium into the sewer was expected and intended and, thus, not sudden and accidental, the pollution exclusion applies and there is no coverage, no duty to defend, and no duty to indemnify.