Torts Keyed to Epstein
Dimmitt Chevrolet, Inc. v. Southeastern Fidelity Insurance Corp
Plaintiff operated two car dealerships and sold its used crankcase oil to Peak Oil Company (Peak) from 1974 to 1979. In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that substantial pollution at Peak’s worksite had resulted from storage of its waste sludge in unlined bins. Plaintiff was designated as a possible responsible party. Plaintiff agreed to undertake remedial measures without conceding its liability under CERLA. Southeastern (Defendant) provided a comprehensive general liability insurance policy to Plaintiff from 1972 to 1980. The policy had numerous exclusions; but none of the exclusions would apply if the discharge were sudden and accidental. Defendant filed a declaratory judgment action against Plaintiff seeking a declaration that Defendant had no duty to defend or indemnify Plaintiff under its policy. Plaintiff filed a counterclaim seeking a contrary declaration. Both sides filed summary judgment motions. The court awarded summary judgment to Defenda nt; the pollution at Peak had occurred over many years and could not be considered sudden and accidental. Plaintiff appealed.
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