Insurance Policy Exclusion, Used Only as Definition, Is Given No Effect

Tenant sued his landlord alleging lead poisoning. The landlord filed a claim with his insurance company. The insurer sued seeking to avoid its obligation to the landlord to defend against the lawsuit, claiming that the policy had not been triggered. The policy had been drafted so that the insurer was obligated to defend only where the lead reached a certain level, a level that had not been reached here. The insurer claimed that because the level of lead was below the policy trigger point, it had no obligations to the landlord. This exclusion, however, was discussed only in the definition portion of the policy with no mention made in the exclusion portion. The court found that because the policy was poorly drafted and confusing, this exclusion would be ignored.

Contact Information