CARTER-WALLACE v. ADMIRAL INS.


712 A.2d 1116 (1998)

154 N.J. 312

CARTER-WALLACE, INC., a corporation of the State of Delaware, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. ADMIRAL INSURANCE COMPANY, a corporation of the State of Delaware, Allstate Insurance Company (as Successor to Northbrook Excess and Surplus Insurance Company, formerly Northbrook Insurance Company and Northbrook Indemnity Company), a corporation of the State of Illinois, American Home Assurance Company, a corporation of the State of New York, American Re-Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of Delaware, Associated International Insurance, a corporation of the State of California, California Union Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of California, Columbia Casualty Company, a corporation of the State of Illinois, Employers Insurance of Wausau, a corporation of the State of Wisconsin, First State Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of Delaware, Home Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of New Hampshire, International Surplus Lines Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of Illinois, Underwriters at Lloyd's London, Nos. 1 to 200, being fictitious names, London Market Insurance Companies, Nos. 1 to 200, being fictitious names, the Mutual Fire, Marine & Inland Insurance, a corporation of the State of Pennsylvania, New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, New Jersey Surplus Lines Insurance Guaranty Fund, the Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, a corporation of the State of Connecticut, the Continental Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of New Hampshire, the North River Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of New Jersey, United States Fire Insurance Company, a corporation of the State of New York and Zurich Insurance Company, a foreign corporation, Defendants, and Commercial Union Insurance Company, (as Successor to Employers Commercial Union Insurance Company), a corporation of the State of Massachusetts, Defendant-Appellant.

Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Decided July 8, 1998.


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

James W. Christie, III, Philadelphia, PA, for defendant-appellant (Christie, Pabarue, Mortensen and Young, attorneys; Mr. Christie and Peter J. Lynch, Cherry Hill, of counsel and on the briefs).

C. MacNeil Mitchell, a member of the New York bar, New York City, for plaintiff-respondent (Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, attorneys; Mr. Mitchell, Donald Jeffrey Campbell and Charles Stoia, Morristown, of counsel and on the briefs).

Brian R. Ade, West Orange, for amici curiae Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company (Gilberg & Kiernan, attorneys; Robert F. Walsh, New York City, of counsel; Mr. Ade, Mr. Walsh and Anthony J. LaPorta, West Orange, on the brief).

Kevin J. Bruno, Roseland, submitted a joint brief on behalf of amici curiae Alco Industries, Inc., The Boc Group, Combustion Engineering, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, The Flintkote Company, Genstar Corporation, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Millenium Holdings Corp., Pfizer Inc., PPG Industries, Inc., Princeton Gamma Tech Inc., The Stearns & Foster Bedding Company, Schlumberger Ltd., Unisys Corporation, Warner-Lambert Company and Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (Hannoch Weisman, attorneys for Alco Industries, Inc., Combustion Engineering, Inc., Illinois Tool Works Inc., PPG Industries, Inc., Princeton Gamma Tech Inc., The Stearns & Foster Bedding Company, Schlumberger Ltd. and Unisys Corporation; Gregory J. Schwartz and Laurie J. Sands, of counsel; McCarter & English, attorneys for The Flintkote Company and Genstar Corporation; Gita Rothschild, Newark, of counsel; Dughi and Hewit, attorneys for Warner Lambert Company; Russell L. Hewit and Daniel R. Lindemann, Cranford, of counsel; Anderson Kill & Olick, Newark, attorneys for The Boc Group, Millenium Holdings Corp., Pfizer Inc., and Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation; Paul E. Breene, Newark, of counsel, and Sills Cummis Zuckerman Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross, attorneys for Eastman Kodak Company; Phillip R. Sellinger, Livingston, and Jeffrey M. Pollock, of counsel).

Laurie B. Epstein and William G. Passannante, New York City, submitted a brief on behalf of amicus curiae United Policyholders Inc. (Anderson, Kill & Olick, attorneys).

Susan Stryker, Trenton, submitted a brief on behalf of amicus curiae National Association of Independent Insurers (Sterns & Weinroth, attorneys).

Wilson M. Brown, III, and John F. Schultz, Philadelphia, PA, submitted a brief on behalf of amici curiae Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company, American Motorists Insurance Company and American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company (Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Princeton, attorneys).

Robert D. Chesler, Roseland, submitted a brief on behalf of amicus curiae Marisol, Incorporated (Lowenstein, Sandler, Kohl, Fisher & Boylan, attorneys).

Wendy L. Mager, Princeton, submitted a brief on behalf of amicus curiae Insurance Environmental Litigation Association (Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher & Brennan, attorneys).

Steven Jakubowski, Colonia, submitted a letter brief on behalf of amicus curiae Federal Insurance Company.

Charles W. Miller, III, Somerville, submitted a brief on behalf of amicus curiae The Travelers Indemnity Company (Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, attorneys).


The opinion of the Court was delivered by STEIN, J.

This appeal involves the availability and allocation of insurance coverage for costs incurred at an environmental cleanup site in Monmouth County. Specifically, it requires us to determine how the responsibility of an excess insurer is measured in the context of environmental damage with a continuous trigger of liability over many years. Also presented are the issues whether an insurer bears the burden of proving...

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