Recently, the Missouri Supreme Court held that lead particulates emitted into the air outside a smelting facility qualify as “pollutants” under a pollution exclusion, and that insurance coverage was not available. Doe Run Res. Corp. v. Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins., No. SC96106 (Mo. Oct. 31, 2017).
The underlying class action involved a lead smelting facility in Peru. Residents in the vicinity of the facility alleged bodily injury from exposure to the facility’s emission of a dust composed of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and sulfur dioxide. The policyholder sought insurance coverage under a commercial general liability policy with periods of coverage spanning 2005 to 2007. The policy included a pollution exclusion for injury stemming from pollution at the insured’s premises, defining “pollutant” to mean “any solid, liquid, gaseous, or thermal irritant or contaminant.”