Source: https://www.law.com, March 7, 2019
By: Steven A. Meyerowitz
A federal district court in Miami ruled an insurance policy’s pollution exclusion precluded coverage of a lawsuit against the owner and manager of an office building by a plaintiff claiming she suffered bodily injury after inhaling fumes from oil-based paint used to paint a floor of the building.
In August 2018, Sadie Williams-Panton filed a personal injury lawsuit in a Florida court against Sunnyvale Corp. N.V., and Mink & Mink Inc. Williams-Panton alleged that on or about January 14, 2017, Mink, the property manager of an office building in Fort Lauderdale owned by Sunnyvale, hired a painter to the building’s sixth floor. Williams-Panton asserted that from Jan. 14-16, 2017, the painter painted the sixth floor of the building with an oil-based paint without providing any kind of ventilation.
According to Williams-Panton, on Jan. 17, 2017, she reported to work on the sixth floor of the building when she immediately became overwhelmed with fumes from the oil-based paint, which allegedly caused her to become ill and suffer personal injury as the oil-based paint continued to recirculate through the building’s air conditioning unit.
Williams-Panton alleged that the “inhaling” of the “toxic fumes” from the oil-based paint resulted in her sustaining injuries.…
Source: https://6abc.com, July 26, 2018
By: Vernon Odum
The tap water in Upper Dublin Township is widely believed by local residents to be dangerously contaminated by firefighting agents from military bases in this area of Montgomery County.
The acronym for the contaminating chemical in question is PFAS, which stands for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.
According to the EPA’s website, the chemicals in PFAS are “very persistent in the environment and in the human body,” meaning they accumulate and stay in the body for a long period of time.
“This a Frankenstein’s monster kind of chemical,” said Upper Dublin Resident Mark Cuker. “It doesn’t break down when you drink it. It stays in your body and causes adverse health effects.”…
Source: https://www.reviewjournal.com, November 15, 2017
By: Jessie Bekker
Five months after an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease was reported at the Rio, the number of confirmed cases of the pneumonia-like bacterial illness among guests has risen to seven, with 29 more cases suspected, the Southern Nevada Health District said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, cleaning and testing of the hotel’s water system is continuing to ensure the disease has been eradicated.
That’s a normal timeline for a Legionnaires’ outbreak investigation, health experts say.
“In a situation like this, part of the process of these investigations on an environmental aspect is continued testing and monitoring,” said Robert Cole, the health district’s senior environmental health specialist.…
Read here about Disneyland shutting down cooling towers after a dozen cases of Legionnaires were discovered after most of the patients had visited the park.…
Source: http://www.foxnews.com, September 21, 2017
A Queens resident is dead and another was sickened after they both contracted Legionnaires’ disease within a two-month period, prompting New York City health officials to investigate their apartment building’s plumbing.
The other residents of Park Towers, located on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, have been notified of the ongoing investigation.
“The Health Department is working with the building management to test the building’s hot water plumbing system,” a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spokesman said, according to NBC New York. “The building does not have a cooling tower. While the risk of infection to tenants is very low, as part of our protocol, the Department will notify residents about the investigation and next steps.”
While authorities did not identify either victim, they said the fatality involved an elderly resident.
“It makes my stomach sick,” Denise Innes, a building resident, told NBC New York. “I feel like I don’t know, I’m nervous now to use the water.”
In 2015, there were multiple clusters of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx. Twelve people died in the largest one, which was in the South Bronx.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ can mimic the flu and present as cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches. Symptoms typically begin two to 10 days after exposure, and could progress to lung failure or even death without treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of every 10 Legionnaires’ patients will die due to complications form their illness.…
Source: http://www.constructionrisk.com, August 2017
By: Kent Holland
Where lead-based paint was ingested by a tenant’s child, the tenant sued her landlord for injuries allegedly sustained by the child. The landlord tendered the claim to its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer who, instead of defending the case, filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the pollution exclusion of the CGL policy barred coverage for the alleged injuries. The Owner held that, although not specifically listed in the pollution definition as a “pollutant,” lead-based paint is, in fact, a “pollutant” within the meaning of the policy. The policy’s pollution exclusion was, therefore, applicable, and the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify the landlord. See Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 298 Ga. 716, 784 S.E.2d 422 (2016).
The terms of the CGL policy required the insurer “to pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’” … “only if: (1) the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ is caused by an ‘occurrence’ that takes place ….” An occurrence is defined as “an accident.” Coverage was subject to exclusions, including the pollution exclusion, which provided that the insurance does not apply to “(1) ‘[b]odily injury’ or ‘property damage’ arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of ‘pollutants’: (a) [a]t or from any premises, site or location which is or was at any time owned or occupied by, or rented or loaned to, any insured.”…
Read here about a lawsuit filed over grease and sewage that seeped onto the neighboring property of an Alabama restaurant.…
Read here about a carbon monoxide lead at a hotel in Michigan that killed one and sickened others.…
Source: http://www.lexology.com, December 21, 2016
By: James M. McClammer, Manko Gold Katcher & Fox
Last week, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey denied Alcoa Domestic LLC’s request that the court dismiss claims against it regarding a previously owned site, finding that Alcoa may be in breach of the Purchase and Sales Agreement for the site and thus still liable for contamination caused by the removal of materials from the site. The case, Borough of Edgewater v. Waterside Construction, LLC et al., Civil Action No. 14-5060 (D.N.J. December 14, 2016), concerns the Borough of Edgewater’s endeavor to remediate contamination at Veteran’s Field in Edgewater, New Jersey in 2012. A New Jersey contractor, Defendant Waterside Construction, LLC (and several other interrelated companies, collectively, “Waterside”), was awarded the contract for the remediation, which required Waterside to import clean stone to be used as fill in certain areas of the Veteran’s Field site. Subsequent inspections revealed that the fill was contaminated, and Waterside admitted that the fill material originated from the former Alcoa Site, which is contaminated.
The Borough filed suit against Waterside and Alcoa, as well as the current owner and developer of the Alcoa Site, North River Mews Associates, LLC (“North River”) and River Road Improvement Phase II, Inc. (“RRIP”), seeking remediation costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the New Jersey Spill Act, and common law. North River had purchased the property from Alcoa in 1997 and RRIP was part of a local government redevelopment plan to revitalize the area, including the Alcoa Site. North River, RRIP, and Waterside asserted various cross-claims against Alcoa for contribution and indemnification.…