• When a Mere Request for Information is a Suit Sufficient to Trigger the Duty to Defend
  • August 23, 2016 | Author: Ryan C. McKim
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In Ash Grove Cement Company v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, 2016 WL 2731656 (unpublished), the Ninth Circuit addressed whether Defendants Liberty Mutual Company (“Liberty”) and United States Fidelity Guaranty Company (“USF&G”) owed their insured, Plaintiff Ash Grove Cement Company (“Ash Grove”), a duty to defend an information request (Section 104(e) Letter) from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) pursuant to section 104(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”). Relying heavily on its decision in Anderson Bros., Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 729 F.3d 923 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit held that Liberty and USF&G (collectively “Defendants”) owed a duty to defend Ash Grove under Oregon law.