Montrose: Gift That Keeps On Giving

 Monday, June 29, 2020

 Insurance Thought Leadership

On Jan. 7, 2020, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Montrose v. Superior Court, 14 Cal App. 5th 1306, 2017.

The issue in the underlying continuous environmental contamination damage claim is whether the upper excess layer of coverage should participate in funding only after all directly underlying excess coverage during the coverage continuum exhausts. This is known as horizontal exhaustion.

On April 6, 2020, the California Supreme Court ruled in Montrose’s favor, finding that vertical exhaustion is appropriate.

On my very first day at Admiral Insurance, over 26 years ago, the first claim I reviewed involved the Stringfellow Acid Pits Superfund Site in California.

Admiral’s insured, Montrose Chemical, was a major contributor of toxic wastes to the site and a major target of the EPA. I had the opportunity to attend oral arguments before the California Supreme Court in the subsequent coverage litigation against Admiral which is the subject of this article.
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