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Environmental Practice: The 'Bartoline' Case

This landmark case highlights the limitations of pollution coverage available under public liability insurance policies.

In a UK court judgement, it was held that offsite clean-up costs sought by public enforcing bodies were not covered by a claimant’s public liability policy. The judgement in Bartoline Limited (Bartoline) v (1) Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (RSA) (2) Heath Lambert Limited (2006) confirms that such costs did not constitute a ‘legal liability for damages’ as required by the policy wording, and as such the insurer was within its rights to reject a claim for costs owed to the Environment Agency and costs incurred through complying with a statutory notice.