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Influential Trade Publication, Public Utilities Fortnightly, features Christopher Yetka’s Article, Environmental Contamination: Old Insurance Policies Could Be Worth Their Weight in Gold


The first of a two-part article by Christopher Yetka, chair of Larkin Hoffman’s Insurance Recovery & Advice Practice, has been published in Public Utilities Fortnightly. The article, entitled, Environmental Contamination: Old Insurance policies Could be Worth Their Weight in Gold, addresses the best approach a utility can take to identify and secure coverage from ancient insurance policies for significant environmental contamination liability exposure.

State environmental agencies continue to discover long-hidden contamination caused by companies around the country. Contamination may turn up after dredging activities, groundwater sampling or construction of new buildings on redeveloped sites. When these discoveries are made, state environmental agencies search for the source of pollution. In recent years, that research has led government agencies to target energy utilities and other companies as the source of contamination, going back decades or even centuries.

In the article, Chris takes the reader through the maze of historical insurance policies and how they have been interpreted by courts. In many cases, insurance coverage can be found in old policies often purchased long after the contamination was first initiated.

Public Utilities Fortnightly (PUF) is the forum for stakeholders in utility regulation and policy.  Members organizations of PUF use the publication to debate the best course in the interest of the public. Founded in 1928, PUF was created to provide a neutral platform for key stakeholders to contribute to the conversation surrounding regulatory and policy issues without outside agenda or bias.

Larkin Hoffman represents property-casualty insurance policyholders in insurance disputes—never insurance companies. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing policyholders and take time to learn about our clients’ policies. Knowing what a client had insured and why it matters to them is the natural starting point for our team. We dig deep to learn what the insurance company promised and what our clients relied on to protect themselves.  Even with the most thorough policy review, it is inevitable that insurance carriers will reject some covered claims leaving our clients with no choice but to fight it out in court. We have tried cases across the country in federal courts and in the courts of over thirty states. We advise our clients on alternatives to trial and make every effort to get matters resolved in a timely and effective manner.

Click here to read a copy of Environmental Contamination: Old Insurance Policies Could Be Worth Their Weight in Gold published in Public Utilities Fortnightly or click on the "Download PDF" box in the upper right corner to download a copy.