Stone Container Corporation v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
165 F.3d 1157 (7th Cir. 1999)
Stone Container Corporation (Stone) (plaintiff) manufactured pulp, paper, and paper products. To manufacture pulp, Stone placed wood chips in steel tanks called pulp digesters. The pulp digesters were sealed. Heat and steam were used in the pulp digesters to decompose the wood chips into pulp. One of the pulp digesters exploded, causing property damage to Stone and killing several workers. Because of the explosion, Stone had to shut down its manufacturing plant for months, incurring a loss of more than $80 million. Stone was covered by two insurance policies: (1) an all-risk insurance policy from Lloyd’s, and (2) a boiler and machinery insurance policy from Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (Hartford) (defendant). Stone’s policy with Hartford contained an exclusion for explosions, with an exception for loss caused by an explosion of one of seven enumerated objects, including a steam boiler. Lloyd’s claimed that Hartford’s policy was primary and that Lloyd’s policy was secondary. Therefore, according to Lloyd’s, it was only required to pay on its all-risk policy if Hartford was not legally obligated to pay on Hartford’s boiler and machinery insurance policy. Stone made a claim on its policy with Hartford, and Hartford denied the claim. Stone sued Hartford to compel Hartford to pay on its policy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Stone, holding that the exceptions to the exclusion were ambiguous and therefore should be interpreted in favor of Stone. Hartford appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.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 175,000 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.