Dimmitt Chevrolet, Inc. v. Southeastern Fidelity Insurance Corp.
Florida Supreme Court
636 So. 2d 700 (Fla. 1993)
Dimmitt Chevrolet, Inc. (Dimmitt) (plaintiff) operated two automobile dealerships and sold used crankcase oil generated by its business to Peak Oil Company (Peak) between 1974 and 1979. During this time, Dimmit received comprehensive general liability (CGL) insurance coverage from Southeastern Fidelity Insurance Corporation (Southeastern). The CGL insurance covered all claims in which Dimmitt would become legally obligated to pay damages based on bodily injury or property damage caused by certain “occurrences.” The CGL insurance did not cover the discharge, waste, leakage, release, and escape of certain hazardous materials and chemicals unless such discharge, waste, leakage, release, and escape were “sudden and accidental.” In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brought suit against Peak for “substantial pollution” due to its storage of recycled oil from various companies, including Dimmitt. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Dimmitt as a potentially responsible party (PRP) because it had recycled oil with Peak from 1974 to 1979. Dimmitt paid damages for the pollution and sought indemnity from Southeastern (defendant). Southeastern argued the “sudden and accidental” clause in Dimmitt’s policy contained a temporal aspect which excluded it from liability for pollution by the company occurring slowly and over a period of several years. Dimmitt argued that the word “sudden” should be construed to require Southeastern to provide insurance coverage for any unexpected and unintended pollution discharge. The trial court agreed with Southeastern, and Dimmitt appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)
Concurrence (Grimes, J.)
Dissent (Overton, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.