State Farm and Casualty Company a/s/o Robert Breier and Sabine Breier V. Homesite Home Insurance, Supreme Court New York State Nassau County, Index No. 5524/13

This matter involved State Farm’s claim against Homesite as subrogee of the insured’s, Robert and Sabine Breier, for the costs of remediating a fuel oil spill at the insured’s residence. Specifically, the Breiers discovered corrosion leaks in their underground storage tank during the summer of 2008 while converting their home heating system from fuel oil to natural gas. These holes allowed fuel to leak into the ground. State Farm’s investigation determined that the leak began during the Homesite policy period in 2003. Accordingly, State Farm paid the claim and ultimately sued Homesite to recover the amounts paid. Homesite denied the claim because it was not notified of the alleged damage until January 31, 2012, which was outside the applicable 3-year Statute of Limitations.

In its decision, the Court agreed that the action was untimely based on both the Policy’s 2 year suit limit provision, and the 3 year statute of limitations set forth in the CPLR. The Court also agreed that the Policy exclusion for discharge or dispersal of pollutants applied to bar coverage.

For more information contact MCWG Partner Daniel O’Connell.

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