The Pollution Exclusion Can Bar Coverage for Alleged Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Claims

In Foremost Ins. Co. v. Rodriguez, a Pennsylvania federal district denied a motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment lawsuit filed by a liability insurer that sought to disclaim coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging carbon monoxide exposure.[1]  In the underlying state court lawsuit, tenants sued their landlords, alleging that the landlords refused to repair a heating system, which resulted, ultimately, in carbon monoxide poisoning. After the tenants’ hospitalization, the local gas company deemed the heater on the property unsafe, and
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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Deemed Traditional Pollution Precluding Coverage Under Policy’s Pollution Exclusion

This environmental coverage action involved a Church pastor and his wife’s exposure to carbon monoxide from the Church’s heating system resulting in the death of the pastor, and the court’s interpretation as to the application of the policy’s pollution exclusion.  Specifically, the insurer commenced a declaratory action seeking a determination that the policies’ pollution exclusions precluded any duty to defend or indemnify the Church with respect to the pastors’ estates’ claims and issued a reservation of rights denying coverage on
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