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The Alabama Supreme Court, which late last year reversed itself and ruled that the comprehensive general liability policy's sudden and accidental pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for gradual unintended pollution (BI, Jan. 6), late last month refused to reverse itself again. A lower court now must decide whether Alabama Plating Co. intentionally polluted and provided late notice to its insurer. . . .The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an Illinois case involving the right of private citizens to sue companies under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 for failing to meet federal reporting requirements for the release and storage of toxic substances. The high court is not expected to hear arguments in The Steel Co. vs. Citizens for a Better Environment until next fall. . . .Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano has selected former state senator Rey Graulty to head Hawaii's State Insurance Commission after former commissioner Wayne Metcalf stepped down to become a state senator. . . .A Florida judge has permitted a plaintiff to seek punitive damages in an upcoming tobacco trial. The judge, Bernard Nachman, ruled that plaintiff Dana Raulerson can seek unspecified punitive damages along with compensatory damages from defendant R.J. Reynolds. The trial is scheduled to start on April 8. Separately, a federal judge in Oakland has dismissed the smoking-related illness suits of 12 California counties and the City of San Francisco against the tobacco industry. The judge rejected the plaintiffs' attempt to use statistics to show the dollar amount of injury suffered by smokers. The plaintiffs, however, are allowed to amend and refile their suit. . . .Four companies found guilty of breaching the U.K. Health and Safety Act were fined a total of (British pounds) 1.7 million ($2.8 million)-the highest fine ever imposed under the act. Fined were Port Ramsgate Ltd., Fartygsentreprenader A.B., Fartygskonstruktioner A.B. and Lloyd's Register of Shipping, which were involved respectively in the purchase, design, construction and safety certification of a walkway that collapsed at the port, killing six people, in September 1994. . . .The French government will pay 20 billion francs ($3.5 billion) to bolster the troubled state-controlled insurer Groupe des Assurances Nationales. The rescue package primarily covers current and future losses from a mortgage banking unit. . . .New York Gov. George E. Pataki nominated Neil D. Levin to become the state superintendent of insurance. Mr. Levin, the superintendent of banks, would replace Edward Muhl, who resigned in December.