Chris Pickett and Phil Brandt Obtain Judgment in Pollution Exclusion Case
The underlying plaintiff alleged that her neighbor, the insured, had discharged septic waste from his property through a sewer pipe which flowed into the plaintiff’s lake, rendering her lake highly contaminated and no longer safe or viable for swimming or fishing.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois agreed with Chris Pickett & Phil Brandt‘s interpretation that “pollutant,” as defined in the policy, includes septage, an interpretation not directly adopted by Illinois courts in any prior case. The court found that the insured’s actions of funneling raw sewage from his property through a series of pipes to plaintiff’s lake “squarely fall within the definition of ‘pollutant’ as the term is defined in the Policy.”
The exclusion applied to preclude coverage. Thus, the court did not need to reach the other bases for disclaiming coverage – including the applicability of the Bacteria Exclusion or the Expected or Intended Injury Exclusion.