Ohio Court of Appeals: Absolute Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Workplace Coal-Tar Pitch Exposure Claims

January 24, 2018
White and Williams LLP

On December 28, 2017, the Ohio Court of Appeals (Eighth District) held in GrafTech International, Ltd., et al. v. Pacific Employers Ins. Co., et al., No. 105258 that coverage for alleged injurious exposures to coal tar pitch was barred by a liability insurance policy’s absolute pollution exclusion. Applying Ohio law, the court concluded that Pacific Employers had no duty to defend GrafTech or pay defense costs in connection with claims by dozens of workers at Alcoa smelting plants that they were exposed to hazardous substances in GrafTech products supplied to Alcoa as early as 1942.


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