Commercial general liability policies provide coverage for the insured’s liability for “damages” on account of bodily injury and property damage and require the insurer to provide a defense to “suits” seeking such damages. Since the beginning of the environmental liability coverage wars some twenty-five years ago, insurers have disputed whether their insureds’ environmental liabilities seek to impose “damages”, are on account of “property damage,” and are adjudicated in the context of “suit[s].” Recent cases have continued to address these recurring issues.
Anaerobic decomposition produces among other things hydrogen sulfide gas. It is this gas that makes flatulents distinctive from, shall we say, the bouquet of a rose. This was illustrated in a recent coverage case involving a Minnesota pig farm that created a concrete lagoon with capacity to hold 1.5 million gallons of manure. Three-quarters of a mile away was a neighbor’s home.