Segal McCambridge Appellate Team Achieves Reversal of $5M Judgment


October 19, 2012

Segal McCambridge's Appellate Team, led by Shareholder Larry Mason with assistance from Associate John Lee, recently achieved a reversal of a $5 million plus 12% statutory interest judgment against firm client, Transport Insurance Company. By showing that significant errors had occurred concerning the trial court's previous summary judgment ruling in a declaratory judgment action brought by NCR Corporation, Mr. Mason and his team relieved their client of a significant financial burden, will be able to retry the case on the issue most favorable to Transport Insurance Company, and will be allowed to introduce additional supporting evidence for consideration.

In November 2005, the plaintiff, NCR Corporation, filed suit against 25 insurers that had issued general liability insurance policies between 1953 and 1985. NCR sought liability coverage related to its polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of the Lower Fox River, a major waterway in Wisconsin, which occurred during the company's papermaking production from 1954-1971. Transport's policy for NCR, which covered the period of February 1, 1983 to January 1, 1984, provided excess liability coverage, with a $5 million per-occurrence limit. All insurers but one, Transport Insurance Company, settled with NCR.

Over the course of the initial proceedings, NCR and the insurers filed 17 motions and cross-motions for summary judgment. In particular, the motions addressed whether the damages resulting from the river contamination were "expected or intended" and if there was a "known loss" at the time NCR purchased its policies. The Brown County, Wisconsin Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of NCR and held the insurers liable to NCR for the Lower Fox River contamination-related losses that occurred during their policy periods. Transport faced over $5 million in damages coupled with a 12% interest rate. Segal McCambridge appealed the ruling against Transport Insurance Company and requested that the Appellate Court review three issues, including choice of law, expected/intended doctrine, and discovery of new evidence.