July 10, 2013

A firm team, led by Partner Craig C. Martin, recently won another important victory for client Olin Corp., in the manufacturer’s efforts to secure insurance reimbursement for costs incurred in connection with class actions over groundwater contamination near a plant in Morgan Hill, California.  Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that Century Indemnity Co., whose predecessor insured Olin from 1956 to 1970, has a duty to reimburse Olin for 100 percent of its defense costs, amounting to $13.8 million.  While, on their face, the complaints did not specify when the injury to homes or wells occurred, the three-judge panel ruled that “they do allege ongoing contamination of the groundwater plume beginning in 1956, which affected real property situated above it.”  This was sufficient to establish a reasonable possibility of coverage, the court held. 

Other members of the team representing Olin included Partners Peter J. Brennan and Brian S. Scarbrough; Associates Tiffany M. Cartwright, Brienne M. Letourneau and Matthew E. Price; Paralegal Jeanne C. Haske; and former partners Ian H. Gershengorn and Elaine J. Goldenberg.   The decision was reported in a Law360 article titled “2nd Circ. Says Insurer Owes Olin $14M In Pollution Coverage.” 

Earlier this year, Craig won another appeal for Olin in the Second Circuit, that one seeking indemnification from American Home Assurance Co., for environmental remediation involving the same site.