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Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. United States

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20018
Nos. 12-5030, (Fed. Cir., 01/11/2013)

The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision dismissing an insurance company's reimbursement action under the National Defense Authorization Act for cleanup costs associated with the development of property formerly used as a military base. The lower court determined that the company failed to identify a "claim for personal injury or property" triggering the government's duty to indemnify under §330 of the Act. But contrary to the lower court's interpretation, the plain language of §330 does not require that a claim be adversarial or brought by a third party. Nor does §330 require the claimant itself to suffer personal injury or to own the damaged property. Accordingly, correspondence from state regulators demanding that the developer remediate the property constituted a "claim for personal injury or property damage" under the Act.