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HNRK Defeats Summary Judgment on Behalf of Policyholder Client


As set forth in a September 2, 2015 court decision, HNRK defeated summary judgment motions filed by 30 of our client’s insurance companies that had claimed that pollution exclusions in their policies barred all coverage for our client’s claims. The insurance claims are for defense and settlement costs in excess of $100 million incurred by our client in class action product liability litigation (which was settled without any finding of liability), brought by community water systems alleging that our client’s herbicide product applied to neighboring cropland contaminated their water. The winning argument for our client was that, as a threshold matter, the pollution exclusions cannot apply unless the insurers prove that the substance is a “pollutant” (within the meaning of the exclusions).  The judge agreed, found that the insurers had not established that our client’s herbicide product was a “pollutant” within the meaning of the exclusions, and denied the insurers’ summary judgment motions.

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