Oregon High Court: Gradual Pollution Covered Under CGL Insurance Policies

Policyholder Advisor & Alert

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PUBLISHED ON: December 1, 1996

In a landmark decision, the Oregon Supreme Court recently reversed years of pro-insurance company rulings on the existence of insurance coverage for pollution in Oregon, and confirmed the availability of liability insurance coverage for gradual pollution. The Courtruled that the “qualified pollution exclusion” containedin most general liability insurance policies from 1970 to 1986 is ambiguous so that liabilities arising out of unexpected and unintended pollution are covered under the exclusion’s exceptionfor “sudden and accidental” pollution.