Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Insurance Company owes No Duty to Defend where Policy includes Enforceable Pollution Exclusion

Back in the 2000s, Al Phillips the Cleaner, a Las Vegas dry cleaner, had a location in the Maryland Square Shopping Center near the Boulevard Mall.  A Ted Wiens Auto Service Center was just across the street.

Residents of the Maryland Square area complained that they had been injured by the release of perchloroethylene, sometimes called PEC or PERC.  PEC is used in dry cleaning and as an industrial degreaser and spot remover.

Of the PEC release, a local newspaper wrote:

The chemical bled into the groundwater, forming a plume over time that now stretches more than a mile long. The contaminated groundwater ranges from about 400 to 1,000 feet in width, and runs up to 70 feet deep in some areas. In some areas, PCE evaporated and turned into a gas, seeping into the air inside of homes.

Daniel Rothberg, Chemical plume in central Las Vegas to soon undergo cleanup, Las Vegas Sun, June 22, 2016.  Link HERE

The residents filed suit, initially against Al Phillips the Cleaner and later adding the Ted Wiens Service Center as a defendant.  The Complaint alleged that not only had Al Phillips the Cleaner caused a release of PEC but that in 1993 a spill of PEC was reported at the Ted Wiens location as well. Plaintiffs claimed that both defendants contributed to their injuries. [Continue reading]

BLWM attends LVDL Summer Event at TopGolf Las Vegas

Aileen Cohen and Mike Mills of BLWM attended the Las Vegas Defense Lawyer’s Summer Event at TopGolf Las Vegas. Many of the judges and justices from across the state attended. The Event was successful in big part based because of the contributions … [Continue reading]

CELEBRATE LABOR DAY ! ! !

The team at Bauman, Loewe, Witt & Maxwell and the Nevada Law Blogs wish all of our clients, friends, business associates and readers a very safe and extremely enjoyable Labor Day Holiday! In 1894 Labor Day was designated a federal holiday to … [Continue reading]

The Duty To Defend Continues Through The Entire Litigation

Once the duty to defend arises, the insurer's duty continues throughout the entire litigation.  United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Frontier Ins. Co., 120 Nev. 678, 687, 99 P.3d 1153, 1158 (Nev. 2004).  The duty to defend continues until final resolution of the … [Continue reading]

An Insured Can Seek A Broad Range Of Damages If An Insurer Wrongfully Fails To Defend

Failure of Duty to Defend

In Nevada, if an insurance company breaches its duty to defend, it can expect to face a wide array of possible damages If the insured takes up its own defense, the insurer can expect to pay the reasonable costs incurred by the insurer in the … [Continue reading]