Kentopp v. Franklin Mut. Ins. Co., 293 N.J.Super. 66, 679 A.2d 701 (App. Div. 1996)

Practice Areas: Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation

Insureds brought suit seeking declaratory judgment that comprehensive general liability (CGL) coverage in their homeowners’ policies obligated insurer to defend and indemnify them in third-party suit arising from environmental contamination on property they had sold. The Superior Court, Law Division, Hunterdon County, entered summary judgment in favor of insurer dismissing insureds’ action. Insureds appealed. The Superior Court, Appellate Division, Shebell, P.J.A.D., held that: (1) owned property exclusion did not preclude coverage for defense and indemnification related to groundwater contamination; (2) owned property exclusion, however, barred coverage for on-site soil contamination; (3) absence of alienated property exclusion did not invalidate for “owned property” exclusion with respect to liability for contamination arising after property was conveyed; and (4) any application of business risk exclusion was premature.

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