The collision of the growing number of government lawsuits over climate change and increased regulation of hazardous substances with a better prepared insurance industry will spark new legal debates as issues enter the courtroom doors, two panelists said in a Wednesday webinar.
In a presentation prepared for Strafford Publications, Anderson Kill PC's Robert Horkovich and Scott M. Seaman of Hinshaw & Culbertson interacted jovially to discuss the history of litigating coverage disputes for environmental liabilities. The duo also addressed what the future has in store for carriers and policyholders.
Another example of a new type of claim that has recently hit the courthouse doors, Anderson Kill's Horkovich pointed out, is suits brought by oil companies seeking a defense from insurers over climate change suits.
Horkovich predicted that more and more litigation is expected over PFAs after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to designate forever chemicals as a hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
A chemical's designation as a hazardous substance or pollutant, however, can benefit insurers if a policy contains a pollution exclusion.
But Horkovich, who represents policyholders, said companies should analyze whether an absolute pollution exclusion is applicable when seeking a defense or coverage for a suit involving forever chemicals.
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