Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Olin Corp. v. Insurance Co. of North America

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20184
Nos. 1:84-cv-01968, (S.D.N.Y., 11/21/2016) (Rakoff, J.)

A district court held that a manufacturing company is entitled to $1.7 million in litigation costs from its insurer in an underlying 2003 lawsuit concerning hazardous waste contamination at one of the company's properties stemming from the 1950s. The insurer alleged that the property damage occurred outside the period covered by the insurance policies. It further argued that even if it had a duty to defend, the court should allocate defense costs between them both to account for damage during periods when the company lacked insurance. But the court disagreed. The issue is not when the dumping occurred, but rather when the property damage occurred, because that is the event that triggered coverage. There are no findings of fact demonstrating that pre-1950s dumping damaged the property. Nor is there any evidence showing the degree to which such dumping was responsible for plaintiffs' injuries. Allocating defense costs here would be guesswork, and the court declined to engage in such speculation.