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Pa. Mfrs. Ass'n Ins. Co. v. Johnson Matthey, Inc.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20064
Nos. 330, (Pa. Commw. Ct., 04/21/2017)

A Pennsylvania court denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment, holding that it had no obligation to defend or indemnify toxic waste claims against its policyholder that occurred after the end of its policy. The policyholder was insured by the defendant from 1969 to 1979. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection brought a CERCLA claim against the policyholder, stating that its predecessor and a corporation unaffiliated with the policyholder used hazardous substances during their operations that contaminated the site. From 2010 to 2015, the insurer provided the policyholder with a defense but reserved its right to withdraw. The insurer contended that since the contamination was not covered in its policy and not discovered until after the policy's effective period, it was not responsible for indemnification or defense. The court rejected this assertion, finding that latent undetected property damage during the policy supported a continuous trigger throughout the latency period.