Home » Articles » Volume 45 » Issue 3 » Court Opinions » Ninth Circuit » Anderson Bros. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co (No. 12-35346, 2013)


Anderson Bros. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co (No. 12-35346, 2013)


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Summary [1]

The panel affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of an insured, holding that the insurer breached its duty to defend when it refused to provide a defense after the insured received letters from the Environmental Protection Agency, notifying the insured of its potential liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for environmental contamination of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.

The Environmental Protection Agency sent two letters to the insured: a letter issued pursuant to Section 104(e) of CERCLA requiring the insured to respond to questions that necessarily established its liability under CERCLA; and a General Notice Letter identifying the insured as a potentially responsible party.

The panel held that both the 104(e) Letter and the General Notice Letter were “suits” under Oregon law within the meaning of the policies’ duty to defend.

The panel also held that the letters alleged facts sufficient to alert the insured to its potential liability for environmental contamination under CERCLA.

The panel held that the insurer breached its duty to defend, and affirmed the attorney’s fee award in the insured’s favor.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader.
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