Insurance company must pay some claims for damage from asphalt spilled on Pa. Turnpike
A Texas insurance company is on the hook for some of the claims coming out of a Nov. 22 asphalt flux spill on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a federal judge ruled Friday.
A tanker belonging to Marino Transportation Services, also known as MTS Transport of Stevensville, Md., spilled the sticky substance over a 40-mile stretch of the eastbound side of the turnpike between the New Castle and Allegheny Valley exits. More than 900 motorists have filed damage claims.
MTS Transport's primary insurer, Travelers Indemnity Co., has already posted the $1 million it owed under the trucking company's primary policy and admits in court documents that the claims will exceed that amount.
MTS Transport holds a $4 million excess liability policy with Hallmark Specialty Insurance Co, a subsidiary of Highmark Financial Services Inc. of Fort Worth. The insurer claimed in court documents that the spill falls under a “pollution exclusion” clause and, therefore, it wasn't obligated to pay any of the claims.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti ruled that the insurance contract should be interpreted under the laws of the trucking company's home state, Maryland, instead of under Pennsylvania's broader interpretation of “pollution exclusion” and Hallmark will have to cover all claims that aren't for environmental damage.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mon-Yough communities pick up litter, collect recyclables during Great American Cleanup
- Group strives to preserve memory of SS McKeesport
- Coach Johnston trying to figure out why Penguins ‘fell off a cliff’
- Counselors available at Hempfield after crash kills student
- Washington’s Shelton grows into big role, looks forward to draft
- Behind starter Liriano, Pirates complete sweep of Diamondbacks
- Injured Penguins optimistic about returning next season
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- Pirates notebook: Wainwright injury doesn’t sway Hurdle on DH
- Crosby, Malkin want to remain in Pittsburgh
- A host of top NFL Draft picks figure to be versatile defensive linemen