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EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc. v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s
New Hampshire Supreme Court
848 A.2d 715 (2004)
EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc. (EnergyNorth) (plaintiff) owned property contaminated by the prior operation of manufactured-gas plants between 1900 and 1952. EnergyNorth held several comprehensive general-liability insurance policies covering damages from accidents and occurrences taking place between 1958 and 1983. During this coverage period, toxic waste continuously migrated through the soil, causing continuous property damage. In 1996 the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services notified EnergyNorth that it was required to remediate the contaminated sites. EnergyNorth sued the insurance companies, including Underwriters at Lloyd’s (collectively, the insurers) (defendants), in federal district court for a declaratory judgment ordering indemnification under the policies for remediation costs. The district court certified to the New Hampshire Supreme Court a question of state law: what trigger-of-coverage standard should apply to determine if an accident or occurrence took place in the case of continuously migrating toxic waste?
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Duggan, J.)
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