Wrong place, wrong time!

Source:, “Environmental Insider,” January 2019
Be ready when life happens. These claim situations illustrate the variety of environmental exposures that could affected your customers!

A contractor was demolishing a small bridge as part of a roadway expansion project when it encountered asbestos- containing materials (ACM). Proper controls and air monitoring were put in place, but a neighbor complained that ACM dust had entered the heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) system of her home. Testing of the HVAC system revealed small amounts of ACM dust. To remove it, filters at the neighboring property had to be changed twice and the ducts had to be cleaned at a significant cost. A claim was made for these clean-up expenses and considerable legal fees were incurred.

A road contractor was hired for a project that involved re-stripping a section of highway. On the way to the job-site, the truck carrying a load of paint containing titanium dioxide overturned. The paint spilled into a nearby creek. In response, the contractor immediately called Great American’s emergency response vendor, CURA, and the spill was contained. However, due to the sensitive nature of the area where the spill occurred, substantial clean-up and environmental monitoring was necessary. A claim for these costs as well as civil fines imposed as a result of natural resource damage was made.
During the expansion of a highway in southern Florida, heavy rains caused silt and sediment to runoff from the road construction site into nearby bayous. As a result, claims were made for the clean-up, which required dredging of the bayous. Additional claims were made for loss of value of the surrounding properties, because the sediment caused the bayou to become impassible by boat.
An asphalt contractor was brought into litigation when a subcontractor was required to use more paving material than originally called for in the site plan. The asphalt contractor incurred significant legal fees defending the lawsuit, which alleged improper plans resulted in the overage.
A parking lot in California was expanded and regraded. After completion of the project, heavy rains washed away the erosion controls set in place (swales, planting, etc.). As a result, a significant amount of sediment entered an adjacent watershed area. The clean-up procedure required tedious removal of the sediment by hand. A claim was made for the time consuming and expensive clean-up process.

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