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A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court ruling and said a New York utility had submitted its claims too late to Chubb Corp. and OneBeacon Insurance Group units to obtain coverage.
Binghamton, New York-based New York State Electric & Gas Corp. had filed suit against Chubb Ltd. unit Century Indemnity Co. and OneBeacon America Insurance Co., a unit of Plymouth, Minnesota-based OneBeacon Insurance Group, in U.S. District Court in Binghamton, seeking coverage for costs associated with investigating and remediating contamination at 22 former manufactured gas plant sites, according to Thursday’s ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in New York State Electric & Gas Corp. v. Century Indemnity Co., OneBeacon America Insurance Co.
The district court dismissed the case, which was upheld by a unanimous three-judge appeals court panel. “Because NYSEG reasonably should have known of occurrences likely to implicate the Insurer’s policies at all of its MFG sites by July 1991 at the latest, its November 1991 notice to the Insurers was untimely as a matter of law,” said the ruling.
OneBeacon attorney Kevin J. O’Connor, a shareholder with Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing P.C. in Boston, said, “We’re just glad the court saw it our way.” Chubb’s attorney could not be reached, while the utility’s attorney had no comment.
Costs related to the deadly Sept. 13, 2018, gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts have exceeded the total liability insurance available to utility NiSource Inc., the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.
A federal appellate court has overturned a lower court ruling and ruled in favor of a OneBeacon Insurance Group unit in a dispute with a protection and indemnity insurer over insurance coverage for a sunken tug boat.