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Patricia O'Connell
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Laura Foggan Comments on Closely Watched Pollution Exclusions Case Before the Indiana Supreme Court

A.M. Best Company
May 6, 2011

Insurance Practice partner Laura Foggan was quoted by A.M. Best Company in a story previewing a case before the Indiana Supreme Court that has the attention of commercial insurers because it may affect how pollution exclusions are applied in Indiana.

In the case State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. v. Flexdar Inc., State Auto is seeking to limit Indiana law on the ambiguity of the Absolute Pollution Exclusion found in Commercial General Liability insurance policies. Indiana has a reputation for being tough on insurers that are seeking to withhold coverage because of pollution exclusions.

Ms. Foggan, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association, said the Court's decision has the potential to alter the way insurers are able to apply pollution exclusions.

"This case provides the opportunity for the Indiana Supreme Court to review case law that lower courts have felt constrained them from applying pollutions exclusions in a straightforward matter. It is an opportunity for Indiana to move into line with other states and not remain an outlier in refusing to apply the pollution exclusion as written," Ms. Foggan said.