Representing Insureds Since 1970

Ambiguous Policy Exclusions Insufficient to Protect Insurers in Actions Stemming from Damage due to Collapse of World Trade Center

Weg and Myers P.C. was successful in having the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reverse a decision by the District Court for the Southern District of New York that granted summary judgment to the insurer of a building damaged by debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center. In Parks Real Estate Purchasing Group v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, the District Court, while rejecting arguments asserting that the claim was excluded based upon the "mechanical breakdown" and "wear and tear" exclusions in the policy, granted summary judgment to the carrier based upon an exclusion of coverage for "contamination". The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the word "contamination" was ambiguous as it was used in the exclusion to an all-risk policy. The Court found instead that the meaning of the term "contamination" was an issue of fact to be determined by the trier of fact, and reversed and remanded case. Click here for a copy of the Second Circuit's decision.