PRP Letter A “Suit” Triggering Defense:

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a policyholder who received a US EPA request for information and general PRP notice letter was entitled to a defense.

In a case involving environmental contamination at the Portland Harbor, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed an earlier ruling that an information request and a general Potentially Responsible Party (“PRP”) notice letter from the US EPA qualified as a “suit” triggering defense obligations in a CGL policy.  The insurer challenged the Court’s holding that “suit” in the policy was ambiguous.  The court rejected the insurer’s argument and declined to send the matter to the Oregon Supreme Court for its opinion.  Anderson Brothers, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Case No.12-35346 U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

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