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United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
October 27, 2022, Decided; October 28, 2022, Filed
The plaintiff in this insurance coverage dispute (Vision Service Plan or "VSP") alleges its insurer (Illinois Union Insurance Company) wrongly denied coverage for losses arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. VSP argues the virus created an insured "pollution condition." Illinois Union disagrees, and moves to dismiss for failure to state a claim. VSP has not shown that its claim fell within the basic scope of coverage. Its complaint is dismissed without leave to amend.
VSP is the parent of several companies harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Compl. ¶¶ 25-43, ECF No. 1-1. It alleges the pandemic and related public health orders interrupted its business and increased its cleaning and sanitation costs. See, e.g., id. ¶¶ 18, 24, 36-39, 71-72. VSP has an insurance policy [*2] with Illinois Union and submitted a claim. See generally Policy, id. Ex. A, ECF No. 1-1; Compl. ¶ 65. Under that policy, Illinois Union agreed to pay for loss resulting from claims and first-party claims "arising out of . . . a 'pollution condition' on, at, under or migrating from a 'covered location' . . . ." Policy at 1. The policy defines "pollution condition" at length:
The discharge, dispersal, release, escape, migration, or seepage of any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant, contaminant, or pollutant, including soil, silt, sedimentation, smoke, soot, vapors, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), hazardous substances, hazardous materials, waste materials, "low-level radioactive waste", "mixed waste" and medical, red bag, infectious or pathological wastes, on, in, into, or upon land and structures thereupon, the atmosphere, surface water, or groundwater.
Id. at 9-10. Illinois Union denied the claim because it determined a viral pandemic was not a "pollution condition." Compl. ¶ 66.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198138 *; 2022 WL 16530097
Vision Service Plan, Plaintiff, v. Illinois Union Insurance Company, et al., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Appeal filed, 12/01/2022
pollution, coverage, environmental conditions, provisions, indoor, allegations, pandemic, amend, contaminant, conditions, ambiguity, irritant, fungi, air