Insurance Law Areas of Concentration
Environmental & Toxic Tort Coverage
Post & Schell has represented primary and excess insurers in coverage litigation involving environmental and toxic tort claims for more than 25 years. Although we concentrate our work in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our practice is national in scope and impact. Senior Principal Jack Sullivan is nationally recognized and has handled environmental and other coverage litigation matters for national clients in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin, among other states. The group’s attorneys have handled cases ranging from multi-million dollar liability and significant exposures that involve the heart of an insured’s business, down to more modest claims involving only a single claimant.
We work with industry consultants throughout all stages of a claim and throughout the progression of coverage litigation to make certain that the claims are properly handled. Our experience with both federal and state statutes provides our clients the breadth and depth of experience required for such matters. This includes handling coverage disputes arising from the release of pollutants from manufacturing operations, and the analysis of claims of contamination of navigable waters. We have helped educate the industry on these matters through published articles on environmental and toxic tort issues for industry publications. We have litigated in state and federal courts on issues including:
- Interpretation of pollution exclusions
- Negotiation of cost sharing and allocation and commutations of policies
- Single versus multiple occurrences
- Scope of damages
- Choice of law questions
- Triggers of coverage
Representative Matters and Results
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of plaintiff insurance company—subsequently affirmed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals—that asbestos related personal injury claims asserted against policyholder arose from one occurrence and that a non-cumulation provision precluded stacking of coverage.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant insurance company that bodily injury and property damage claims based on alleged exposure to hexavalent chromium in tanning sludge that was applied as fertilizer was not covered.