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Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 27, 2014

TRAVELERS INDEMNITY CO., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP., et al., Defendants, and CENTURY INDEMNITY CO., eventual successor in interest to INSURANCE CO. OF NORTH AMERICA, Nominal Defendant.

OPINION & ORDER

KATHERINE B. FORREST, District Judge.

This is the Court's third summary judgment Opinion in this environmental insurance coverage action. (See ECF Nos. 545 and 546.)

In April 2012, Travelers Indemnity Co. and various affiliated companies (together, "Travelers") commenced the underlying declaratory judgment action as to liability for environmental pollution, against Northrop Grumman Corp. and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. (together, "Northrop" or "Grumman"), and Century Indemnity Co., eventual successor in interest to Insurance Company of North America ("INA"), ("Century"), as nominal defendant.

This Opinion relates to Century's motion for summary judgment with respect to two areas: the Beth page Community Park and the Bethpage Facility. The Court will not repeat the facts or the law set forth in detail in its prior decisions on the Bethpage Facility and Community Park; it discusses here only what is new or different between those motions and this one.

Century argues that as to both areas, notice was late and it is relieved of any coverage obligations. This Court agrees. For the reasons set forth below, Century's motion is GRANTED.

I. FACTS

Century and Northrop incorporate by reference paragraphs 1-161 and 170-79 of the Statement of Undisputed Material Facts Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 56.1 in Support of Travelers' Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding the Bethpage Facility and Northrop's response thereto. Accordingly, the Court incorporates the "Facts" section of its February 25, 2014 Opinion & Order regarding the Bethpage Facility. (See ECF No. 545 at 2-28.)

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

The Court incorporates the standard for summary judgment and other legal standards relating to late notice set forth in its February 25, 2014 Opinion & Order. (See ECF No. 545 at 28-29, 39-44.)

III. THE POLICIES AT ISSUE

Century issued Comprehensive General Liability ("CGL") policies to Grumman for the period 1951-1962, and umbrella policies for the period 1951-1968.

Each of the CGL policies has the following provisions:

Notice of Accident. When an accident occurs written notice shall be given by or on behalf of the insured to the company or any of its authorized agents as soon as practicable. Such notice shall contain particulars sufficient to identify the insured and also reasonably obtainable information respecting the time, place and circumstances of the accident, the names and addresses of the injured and of available witnesses.
Notice of Claim or Suit. If claim is made or suit is brought against the insured, the insured shall immediately forward to the company every demand, notice, summons or other process received by him or his representative.

(Northrop Grumman's Responses to Century's "Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Facts in Supp. of Mot. for Summ. J." ("NGC Century 56.1") ¶¶ 74-76; Walsh Decl. Ex. 1, at CEN00000006.)

The Century umbrella policy No. XPL-3506, which was in effect from January 1, 1951 through January 1, 1963, contains a notice of occurrence or accident provision that states, in relevant part;

Upon the happening of an occurrence or accident that appears reasonably likely to involve liability on the part of the company written notice shall be given by or on behalf of the insured to the company or any of its authorized agents as soon as practicable.

(NGC Century 56.1 ¶ 77.) The Century umbrella policy no. XBC-1177, which was in effect from January 1, 1963 through January 1, 1968, contains a Notice of Occurrence provision that states:

Upon the happening of an occurrence reasonably likely to involve the company hereunder, written notice shall be given as soon as practicable to the company or any of its authorized agents.

(Id.)

IV. ...


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