ILNews

Transfer granted in cleanup liability case

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Wednesday in a case involving environmental cleanup costs and which party would be liable to incur those costs.

At issue in Dreaded Inc., v. St. Paul Guardian Insurance Co., et al., No. 49A02-0701-CV-78, is whether St. Paul is liable for environmental cleanup defense costs incurred prior to receiving notice of potential liability from Dreaded about an environmental claim.

Dreaded received a claim letter in 2000 from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management demanding the company do a site characterization at their former truck center in Muncie. Dreaded didn't inform its insurer, St. Paul, of the claim until March 24, 2004. St. Paul agreed to pay all defense costs from March 30, 2004, and on, but refused to pay for any defense costs incurred prior to that date.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of St. Paul, finding the company not liable for the defense costs. Dreaded appealed the ruling, claiming its delay in notifying St. Paul of its claim was not a material breach of Dreaded's comprehensive general liability policy with St. Paul.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court ruling that Dreaded's delay in informing St. Paul of an IDEM claim was unreasonable but reversed the summary judgment in favor of St. Paul because Dreaded had designated sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether St. Paul had been prejudiced as a result of the delayed notice from Dreaded.
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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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