Wrong Place, Wrong Time!
Be ready when life happens. These industry-trend situations illustrate the variety of environmental exposures that could affect your customers!
An apartment complex had multiple confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. As a result, state and city health departments required an investigation. Unfortunately, the legionella bacteria was confirmed and remediation deemed necessary. Remediation of the water system included the cleaning of water tanks and shock hyperchlorination. A secondary disinfection system was also installed. Additionally, end-use filters were added to showerheads/bath spigots, bottled water was provided to tenants and the complex owner put a modified water management program in place. To coordinate the matter and to interact with the health departments, defense counsel was retained. As the matter was highly publicized and featured on the news, a PR firm was hired to manage tenant and community interaction as well. Extensive post-remedial sampling followed.
An insured manufacturer – located in an industrial region with many other manufacturers – has been sued by a municipality that claims its drinking water supply was contaminated with PFAS as a result of the manufacturer’s operations. To address the PFAS damage, the municipality demanded material compensation be paid for clean-up costs as well as installation fees to upgrade its water treatment system. Although the insured manufacturer asserted that it did not use or involve any PFAS chemicals in its processes, unfortunately, extensive legal expenses to defend against litigation were incurred.
A property owner was undergoing an agency-directed investigation of soil and groundwater on a site for several months. The site was nearly characterized and a remediation plan was ready to be proposed, when suddenly the environmental agency lowered its Environmental Screening Levels (ESL) standards for 1,4-dioxane. The ESL standard adjustment forced the insured property owner to further investigate the soil vapor and indoor air quality, which significantly increased costs and ultimate exposure of the site.
Greg Kelder is a Divisional Senior Vice President with Great American Environmental and serves as Head of Claims. With more than 28 years of environmental claim experience, he has developed particular business acumen in matters related to emerging environmental risks, as well as broader challenges related to pollution, regulation, water policy and sustainability. After earning his law degree, he obtained his Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy. Greg brings specialized environmental claim support and training to our division and is based out of the Exton, Pennsylvania office.