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American Home Products Corporation v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
565 F. Supp. 1485 (1983)


Facts

American Home Products Corporation (AHPC) (plaintiff) had an insurance policy with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty) (defendant) from 1944 until 1976. AHPC manufactured, among other things, pharmaceuticals. AHPC was subject to 54 lawsuits arising from physical harm related to those pharmaceuticals. This physical harm did not manifest until after AHPC’s policy with Liberty had terminated. Thus, Liberty refused to defend or indemnify AHPC in the lawsuits. AHPC’s policy with Liberty covered occurrences that resulted in injuries, sickness, or disease that occurred during the insance policy’s effective period. AHPC’s policy with Liberty was a variation of a comprehensive general-liability policy (CGL). Standard CGLs from the same time period as APHC’s Liberty policy covered any occurrence, defined as accidents and injuries the occurred during the policy period and resulted in bodily injury. AHPC sued Liberty seeking a declaratory judgment that Liberty was required to defend AHPC in the lawsuits, regardless of the date the physical harm manifested, because, AHPC claimed, the exposure that lead to the physical harm occurred during the coverage period.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sofaer, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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