Source: AXA XL Environmental
A GC added a curing agent to a concrete utility trench it had poured. The curing agent emitted vapors containing xylene. When an employee at the facility entered the enclosure, he was overcome by the vapors, became dizzy, and fell into the trench, sustaining various injuries. The employee filed suit against the contractor and subsequently the contractor filed a claim with its general liability insurance carrier. The carrier denied coverage under the pollution exclusion which a court upheld stating that an “absolute“ pollution exclusion in the policy barred coverage.