Recent Developments in Corporate Successor Rights

3/27/2009
As mergers, sales of assets, and the creation of subsidiaries constantly reconstitute the structure of America's businesses, corporations may seem to have more lives than a cat. When a latent claim, like a toxic tort case dating to exposure decades previous, or an environmental cleanup claim for waste dumped long ago, hits such a company, the company may assert a claim for insurance coverage under Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) policies held by predecessor corporations that date back to the time of exposure or contamination. Over the past decade, case law has developed around the question: Where those policies were held in the name of the predecessor company, when will the carrier have a duty to defend or indemnify the named defendant?

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