Insurance Coverage & Claims Analysis: Expected & Intended

Whether a company’s historical environmental practices were within the “standard-of-care” at the time they occurred is a critical issue in many types of litigation. Increasingly, attorneys and expert witnesses have found themselves in the role of environmental historians—attempting to divine the view of the environmental world as it existed in the 1960s, the 1950s and earlier. In toxic tort cases, the extent to which negligence can or cannot be demonstrated is paramount, and is often dependent on an analysis of whether negligence occurred given the knowledge, requirements, and general practices of the time. In insurance recovery cases, a key issue is whether a company “expected or intended” to cause environmental harm with its practices. Again, such a determination requires evaluating whether a company operated under the standard-of-care at the time the policy was in place.

Gnarus experts have provided litigation consulting support and expert testimony on numerous cases in which a company’s or government entity’s standard-of-care is at issue. Our experts include environmental professionals who have been actively involved in the environmental field since the inception of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our experts have evaluated the historical practices of companies in virtually every industry and have provided detailed and authoritative assessments of whether these practices were within the standard-of-care. Gnarus’ work in this area is supported by a large in-house library of historical environmental documents, including historical journal articles, laws and regulations, and government reports, which allow Gnarus experts to place a company’s practices in an appropriate historical context. The practice is also supported by research professionals who are skilled in obtaining historical information from a wide variety of public and private libraries and other document repositories.