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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

ACE Units Sue Over Pig Farm Court Battle

October 10th, 2013 - Two ACE Group insurers have sued a defendant in an Illinois state court action brought by operators of a swine factory who allege that defendant has befouled the environment and left dead pig carcasses to rot.

Indemnity Insurance Co. and ACE American Insurance Co. both sued farm operator Silver Creek Pig, Inc. in U.S. District Court in Peoria, Ill.  They also named Greenfield, Ill., residents Joe and Megan Clark, and Bob Norris and Tom Gall, in U.S. District Court in Peoria, Ill. as interested parties to the declaratory judgment action.    

Indemnity sold a farm owners’ liability policy to Silver Creek with an effective period of September 29th, 2009 to September 29th, 2010. ACE sold the farm a separate excess liability policy, with the same coverage dates.

At some point the Clarks and Norris and Gall sued Silver Creek in Illinois Circuit Court. They reportedly alleged that Silver Creek improperly handled and stored animal waste and lagoons used for collection and storage of hog urine and feces. They said there was leakage, spillage and release of waste from the 4,500-hog operation, and that hogs that had died were not disposed of in a proper or timely fashion.

Silver Creek, which is a Missouri corporation, made a demand of Indemnity that it defend it. Indemnity accepted that tender subject to reservation, the reasons for which are stated in the lawsuit.

The insurers said they have no duty to defend Silver Creek because, among other things, the policies cover bodily injury and property damage. However, they allege that there is no such damage as stated in the state court suit.

The insurers asked for a declaration that they have no duty to defend Silver Creek.

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