Jenner & Block

Failure to Provide Notice to Excess Insurer Dooms Insurance Recovery for Environmental Settlement

Siros photoBy Steven M. SirosSmoke stacks photo

A California appellate court recently affirmed a lower court decision that had concluded that an insured’s failure to obtain consent from its excess insurer barred it from recovering insurance proceeds from that insurer.  In 2001, a lawsuit was filed by residents of a Missouri town seeking damages against the insured relating to alleged contamination from a lead and cadmium smelting operation.  Zurich Insurance Company was the primary liability insurer and had agreed to provide a defense of the action.  Fidelity & Casualty of New York (“F&C”) was an excess carrier and had received notice of the underlying litigation.  The matter was resolved during a mediation and the insured agreed to settle the residents' claims for $55 million.  However, F&C was not notified of the settlement until a month later. 

TAGS: Air, Climate Change, Hazmat, Sustainability

PEOPLE: Steven M. Siros