Thursday, November 21, 2013

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Livestock Odors Are Not Traditional Environmental Pollution for Purposes of Insurance Coverage

On November 13, 2013, the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Fourth District held that odor allegedly generated by Hilltop View LLC’s swine facility did not constitute “traditional environmental pollution” as defined by Country Mutual Life Insurance in its policies at issue in the lawsuit.  Traditional environmental pollution is excluded from Country Mutual’s coverage because Country Mutual has an “absolute pollution exclusion” policy. Since livestock odors are not traditional environmental pollution, Country Mutual will not be able to deny coverage to its policy holders for lawsuits involving this type of odor nuisance. The court also held, however, that Country Mutual does not have to defend Hilltop in an odor nuisance claim because Country Mutual still has other potential coverage defenses that are pending in a declaratory judgment.

For the court’s opinion please see the Illinois Court’s website.

Written by Sarah L. Doyle - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
November 21, 2013

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