In Dimmitt Chevrolet v. Southeastern Fidelity Insurance Corp., the Florida Supreme Court, in a four to three decision, held that the "sudden and accidental" language ,used in the pollution exclusion clause of comprehensive general liability ("CGL") insurance contracts is capable of more than one meaning and is therefore ambiguous. The court then held that so long as environmental contamination is unexpected and unintended on the part of the insured, coverage is not excluded under a CGL insurance policy by the pollution exclusion clause. The court, by first determining that the sudden and accidental language was ambiguous and then analyzing the drafting history to determine the intent of the parties, reached the correct decision on this contract interpretation issue.
Engle, Walter E. III
"Dimmitt Chevrolet v. Southeastern Fidelity Insurance Corp.: Florida Interprets the "Sudden and Accidental" Clause,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 44:
4, Article 19.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol44/iss4/19