Environmental & Toxic Tort Insurance Coverage

Environmental & Toxic Tort insurance coverage litigation is an active area of practice in both of Lugenbuhl’s Louisiana and Texas offices. Our attorneys possess the requisite courtroom skills, legal research, and writing ability — as well as familiarity with the current science — to effectively defend a wide variety of coverage-related claims, including:

  • Airborne-toxic-event claims (neighborhood exposure claims)
  • Asbestos claims
  • Silicosis claims
  • NIHL claims
  • NORM and TENORM claims
  • Lead claims
  • Formaldehyde claims
  • Chinese-drywall claims
  • Contamination of oilfield and other property (under CERCLA and state laws)
  • Groundwater and soil-contamination claims
  • Mold, mildew, fungus, and organic pathogen claims
  • Benzene and other chemical exposure claims
  • Manganese (aka welding rod) claims
  • Occupational-disease claims
  • Fear of cancer
  • Medical monitoring
  • Executive officer liability

Our attorneys also have knowledge and experience regarding the unique issues that can arise in defending insurers in environmental and toxic tort insurance coverage disputes. Lugenbuhl’s coverage litigators are seasoned litigators with years of experience in defending similar lawsuits, along with significant coverage experience.

Our experience in representing environmental and toxic tort insurance coverage disputes includes successfully negotiating and/or litigating the following issues:

  • The insurer’s duty to defend
  • Exhaustion of policy limits
  • Cost-share agreements
  • Application of policy-buy-back agreements
  • Lost-policy issues
  • Multiple occurrence issues
  • Trigger of coverage in long-tail bodily injury and property-damage cases
  • Coverage for injury to employees of insured under general liability and employer’s liability policies
  • Pollution-related exclusions
  • Exclusions for specific substances and contaminants, such as asbestos and mold
  • Bodily injury and property damage arising out of the presence of asbestos
  • Bodily injury and property damage arising out of the presence of mold, mildew, bacteria, and other organic pathogens in homes, offices, and other locations
  • Environmental damage from oil-and-gas activities, including disposal of oilfield and other wastes, oilfield pipe cleaning, and oilfield-legacy cases involving contamination from the continued presence of wells, pits, canals, etc.
  • Issues relating to defunct and insolvent policyholders, such as viability of direct-action claims, asbestos manufacturer trusts, and bankruptcy issues
  • Issues of the proper venue for direct-action insurers and their policyholders
  • Class actions
  • Allocation of damages in cases involving numerous defendants sued in many different capacities: premises owners, product manufacturers and distributors, and contractors. Our clients include alleged insurers of each type of defendant
  • Complex issues of exposure and causation of damages, in cases involving both known and unknown exposures, as well as idiopathic diseases

Lugenbuhl’s attorneys are highly experienced with the current science in the asbestos-practice arena and frequently work with the most knowledgeable experts in their respective fields. Coupled with our broad base of experience and knowledge, we are able to provide insurance company clients with an advanced litigation strategy that streamlines the untangling of many complex insurance issues present in the asbestos-insurance coverage arena.

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