• Duty to Pay
  • December 21, 2009 | Author: Thomas R. Schrimpf
  • Law Firm: Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP - Milwaukee Office
  • Plastics Engineering Co. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., ____ N.W.2d ____, 2009 WL 212079 (Wis. Jan. 29, 2009)

    An insurance company issued a number of general liability insurance policies to a named insured. The insured was sued for asbestos-related injuries spanning many years. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, held that once the policy was triggered, the insurance company was required to defend the lawsuit in its entirety and pay for “all sums” up to the policy limits that the insured was obligated to pay, including damage that occurred “partly before and partly within the policy period.” The Wisconsin Supreme Court concluded that the policy language did not support a pro rata allocation of damages.

    The insurance company’s policy contained no language limiting the insurer’s obligation to a pro rata share. Rather, the policy specifically provided that the insurer was obligated to pay for injury that occurred “partly before and partly within the policy period.”