The Department of Energy (DOE) hired several environmental contractors to assist in operating one of its facilities. Following an accidental release of air pollutants, local residents filed a class action nuisance suit against the contractors, alleging emotional distress, for whom an $80 million trust fund was established. Both the government and the contractors were required to contribute to the fund.
An environmental consultant provided plans and specifications for the installation of monitoring wells at a contaminated facility. Contamination had seeped from the ground surface into a shallow aquifer. Following installation of monitoring wells, sampling showed evidence of contamination in both the shallow aquifer and in a lower lying aquifer. The facility owner filed a claim against the consultant, alleging that well placement (location and depth) was contamination of the lower lying aquifer. The settlement amounted to $250,000.
A hazardous waste site hired a consultant to develop a health and safety plan and provide inspection services. During remediation of the site, a subcontractor who was not equipped with proper respiratory protection died from inhalation of an unknown substance. The family filed a claim against the consultant for improper health and safety precautionary measures and negligent oversight of the work in progress.
An environmental consultant performed a Phase I Site Assessment at a site that had been used previously for industrial purposes. The consultant submitted a report stating that negligible contamination had been found. The property was subsequently sold. During excavation, an unregistered leaking underground storage tank (UST) was discovered on the site. The property developer sued the consultant for $1.2 million for remediation expenses, lost profits, and diminution in value.
During remedial activities at a Superfund landfill site, a remedial action contractor (RAC) inadvertently crushed several drums. As a result, several gallons of hazardous contents were released, causing localized soil contamination. The RAC failed to notify the EPA of the release, which resulted in both criminal and civil actions against the contractor. The RAC was held liable under CERCLA, and was required to pay penalties exceeding $6.1 million.
A recycling facility used sulfuric acid in their process and stored it on-site in a 20,000-gallon aboveground storage tank. The storage tank was contained by two foot high, chemically sealed masonry walls. Overnight, an area high on the wall of the storage tank ruptured, releasing the sulfuric acid. The leak squirted beyond the containment, releasing approximately 3,000 gallons of the tank contents into the soil and into an adjacent stream. Government-mandated costs for cleanup of on-site soils, the stream and the stream bank exceeded $1 million.
An environmental firm was operating an incinerator to burn hazardous waste at a remote site. Due to cold, inclement weather at the project site, a makeshift tent was constructed to enclose the site equipment and office space. When a power failure s air pollution control equipment to shut off, a plume of hazardous air emissions entered the tent. Personnel from various on-site subcontractors were subsequently overcome with fumes and required medical attention. Settlement costs amounted to $635,000.
A family-operated gas station hired a UST contractor to remove two underground storage tanks and associated contaminated soil. A backhoe hit a natural gas pipeline causing an explosion. Third parties filed bodily injury claims against the contractor, as well as the owner whose building was destroyed in the explosion. Claims exceeded $2.5 million.
An excavation contractor was responsible for a portion of the cleanup costs at a landfill after the material discarded contained a variety of contaminants, including asbestos.Â Even though the contractor was unaware that the material was contaminated, the landfill filed suit against the contractor for improper classification and disposal of waste material.
These claims examples have been provided to us by our insurance companies over the years. These represent actual environmental claims they have seen. While the coverages we offer are designed to address these general issues, we make no guarantee or warranty that any individual policy we offer will respond to all issues as described herein. Please refer to the actual policy wording in each offered form to determine coverage applicability and acceptability.