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Patricia O'Connell
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Laura Foggan Discusses Texas Supreme Court Ruling on Coverage for EPA Proceeding

July 2, 2015

Laura A. Foggan, chair of Wiley Rein’s Insurance Appellate Group, was quoted in a July 1 Law360 article about a ruling that a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) letter to a potentially responsible party (PRP) in a pollution matter constitutes a suit under commercial general liability policies.

The recent 5-4 ruling by the Texas Supreme Court was in response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co. et al.

“This decision underscores that whether a PRP letter can fall within the meaning of ‘suit’ is very much a live issue,” said Ms. Foggan, who represented the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association as amicus curiae in the case. “Policyholders’ contention that their position on a PRP letter as a ‘suit’ is winning overwhelmingly is shown to be unsound by a case like this, where the insurers very nearly prevailed, and there was a strong dissent.”