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NY's First Department examines occurrences in the popcorn lung context.

October 31, 2007

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In the case of <em>International Flavors &amp; Fragrances, Inc. v. Royal Insurance, et al.</em>, the plaintiffs sought coverage for personal injury claims filed by its workers who were exposed to butter flavoring containing diacetyl and other volatile organic compounds at a microwave popcorn packaging plant in Jasper County, Missouri. The workers alleged that the exposure resulted in lung impairment and other respiratory system injuries. The defendant insurers accepted coverage but sought to employ multiple deductibles -- deductibles that were quite high. The plaintiffs objected and filed suit. In affirming the lower court's grant of summary judgment, the First Department held that under the policies' definition of occurrence, "the exposure of numerous persons to a hazardous condition cannot be deemed a single "occurrence" in the absence of any identifiable precipitating event or accident."

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