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Insurer doesn’t have to cover cleanup of California sites

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Relying on California law and a case from 2006, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an insurer of former film-processing sites has no obligation to indemnify Thomson Inc. for the remediations of three California locations.

Thomson acquired the assets of Technicolor Inc., which included three contaminated former film-processing sites in Hollywood, North Hollywood and West Drayton, Calif. Local environmental authorities ordered Thomson to cleanup the sites. Remediation has already cost more than $6.5 million for the sites.

Thomson sought indemnification from Continental, which insured Technicolor from 1969 to 1974. It claims the umbrella policy from Continental covers losses from orders from administrative agencies; Continental claimed the policy is limited to losses resulting from courtroom litigation.

Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele agreed with Continental’s argument, which the Court of Appeals upheld. Relying on California insurance law and CDM Investors v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co., 139 Cal. Rptr. 3d 669, 674 (Cal. Ct. App. 2006), the judges found that the policy’s definition of “ultimate net loss” does not expand the general definition of “damages” so that administrative orders are covered.

“Following the California Court of Appeal’s decision in CDM Investors, we conclude that the Umbrella Policy limits Continental’s indemnity obligations to ‘damages.’ Consequently, Continental has no obligation to indemnify Thomson for the remediations of the Hollywood, North Hollywood, and West Drayton sites as a matter of law,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote in Thomson, Inc., n/k/a Technicolor USA, Inc., Technicolor, Inc., and Technicolor Limited v. Continental Casualty Co.; Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. & Travelers Property Casualty Co. of Am., et al., 49A05-1201-PL-24. 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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