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Bridger Lake, LLC v. Seneca Insurance Co.

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20130
Nos. 11-0342, (W.D. La., 06/06/2013) (Stagg, J.)

A district court held that under Wyoming law, an insurance company need not cover a pipeline operator for damages resulting from a ruptured pipeline that discharged more than 4,000 barrels of crude oil over a five-day period. The policy's pollution exclusion clause bars coverage for the spill. Although "crude oil" was not defined as a "pollutant" under the policy, a plain reading of the words of the exclusion support its application in this case. Nor does the rupture qualify as a "short term pollution event" that would exempt it from the policy's pollution exclusion. The discharges began on April 1 and ended on April 5, well beyond the exception's 48-hour limit. Accordingly, no coverage is due to the insured.