Posted by H. Lee Pruett
The Georgia Supreme Court recently considered whether the pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy applied to a claim of carbon monoxide poisoning. In Reed v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., Case No. S07G1768 (Ga. S. Ct., Sept. 22, 2008), the plaintiff sued her landlord for negligent maintenance of the plaintiff’s house which allegedly caused carbon monoxide poisoning to the plaintiff. The landlord’s insurer, Auto-Owners, entered a defense under a reservation of rights and filed a declaratory judgment action in which it sought a judgment of no coverage based on the pollution exclusion of the policy. The Superior Court of Butts County denied Auto-Owner’s motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed, however, and the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ruling.