Ninth Circuit Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment to Insurer For Fortuitous Loss

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Attorney Tred R. Eyerly analyzes the case Ingenco Holdings, LLC v. Ace American Ins. Co.

July 1, 2019
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's issuance of summary judgment regarding coverage for damages when the insured's plant had to be shut down due to an accident. Ingenco Holdings, LLC v. Ace American Ins. Co., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10946 (9th Cir. April 15, 2019).

Ingenco operated a gas purification plant which converted raw landfill gas into usable natural gas. The final step in the purification process involved the removal of excess nitrogen from the landfill gas. The gas was directed through adsorbent beads, to which nitrogen adhered, contained within pressure vessels.The beads could not withstand the direct pressure of the landfill gas inflow. which, if untreated, could grind the beads down into dust. To reduce the force of the gas flow on the beads, a "diffuser basket" was suspended from the top of each bead-filled pressure vessel. The diffuser basket acted as a shield that prevented the full force of the incoming landfill gas from striking the beads directly.

In 2010, metal brackets securing a diffiuser basket broke. This resulted in damage to other components and an eventual shutdown of the entire facility. The plant remained idle for several months as Ingenco investigated alternative nitrogen filtration options and undertook repairs.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com



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