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HUTTIG BUILDING PRODUCTS, INC. v. AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY et al

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Case Number: 
4:15-cv-00483 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Huttig Building Products, Inc.
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Eastern District of Missouri
Date Filed: 
Mar 17 2015

PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

AND NOW comes the Plaintiff, Huttig Building Products, Inc., formerly known has
Huttig Sash & Door Company (“Huttig”), by and through its counsel Dowd Bennett LLP and
K&L Gates LLP, and hereby files this Petition against Defendants American Home Assurance
Company, Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company (formerly known as Michigan Mutual
Insurance Company, as successor in interest to Michigan Mutual Liability Company), Century
Indemnity Company (as successor in interest to CCI Insurance Company, as successor in interest
to Insurance Company of North America), Employers Insurance Company of Wausau (formerly
known as Employers Insurance of Wausau, A Mutual Company), Fireman’s Fund Insurance
Company, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company,
New England Insurance Company, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company (formerly known as
The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company), and Twin City Fire Insurance Company, (collectively
referred to herein as the “Defendant-Insurers”), alleging as follows:

INTRODUCTION
1. This is an action for declaratory judgment pursuant to Missouri’s
Declaratory Judgments Act, Mo. Ann. Stat. §§ 527.010-527.080, for Huttig’s right to insurance
coverage for certain environmental claims under various insurance policies issued by the
Defendant-Insurers.

IDENTITY OF THE PARTIES
2. Plaintiff Huttig Building Products, Inc., formerly known as Huttig Sash &
Door Company, is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in St. Louis,
Missouri.
3. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer American Home
Assurance Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of New York, with
its principal place of business in New York, New York.
4. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Amerisure Mutual
Insurance Company (formerly known as Michigan Mutual Insurance Company, as successor in
interest to Michigan Mutual Liability Company) is a corporation organized and existing under
the laws of the State of Michigan, with its principal place of business in Farmington Hills,
Michigan.
5. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Century Indemnity
Company (as successor-in-interest to CCI Insurance Company, as successor-in-interest to
Insurance Company of North America) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of
Pennsylvania, with its principal place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
6. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Fireman’s Fund Insurance
Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of California, with its principal
place of business in Novato, California.
7. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Hartford Accident and
Indemnity Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Connecticut, with
its principal place of business in Hartford, Connecticut.
8. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Liberty Mutual Insurance
Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Massachusetts, with its
principal place of business in Boston, Massachusetts.
9. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer New England Insurance
Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Connecticut, with its
principal place of business in Boston, Massachusetts.
10. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Employers Insurance
Company of Wausau (formerly known as Employers Insurance of Wausau, A Mutual Company)
is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Wisconsin, with its
principal place of business in Boston, Massachusetts.
11. Upon information and belief, Defendant-Insurer Travelers Indemnity and
Surety Company (formerly known as The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company) is a corporation
organized and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut, with its principal place of
business in Hartford, Connecticut.
12. Upon information and belief, Twin City Fire Insurance Company is a
corporation organized and existing under the laws of Indiana, with its principal place of business
in Hartford, Connecticut.
13. The various Defendant-Insurers have issued insurance policies to Huttig,
Crane Co., and/or to Huttig’s former affiliate Missoula White Pine Sash Company, as identified
on Exhibit 1 (hereinafter, the “Subject Policies), which exhibit lists the relevant policy numbers
and policy periods, as currently known.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
14. This Court has personal jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 506.500(5) of
the Missouri Revised Statutes, over the Defendant-Insurers named herein because, upon
information and belief, the Defendant-Insurers: transact business within Missouri, including the
selling of insurance in Missouri; assume insurance policies covering risks in Missouri; and/or
handle insurance claims involving risks located in Missouri. Specifically, Defendant-Insurers
have contracted to insure Huttig and its risks located within Missouri.
15. Venue is proper in this Court because Huttig is located within St. Louis
County, which is the principal location of the insured risk assumed by Defend ant-Insurers,
pursuant to Section 508.010(2) of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

NATURE OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION
16. From approximately 1920 through 1996, Huttig was the majority owner in
and/or owned and operated a lumber mill and wood processing facility located on approximately
46 acres on Scott Street in Missoula, Montana (the “Missoula Site”). Various manufacturing
operations occurring at the Missoula Site have allegedly caused environmental damage to the
soil and the groundwater beneath the Missoula Site and in surrounding areas. Huttig is liable or
allegedly liable under the laws of the State of Montana and/or the United States to investigate
and remediate alleged environmental contamination and property damage occurring at and
around the Missoula Site (the “Missoula Site Claims”). Huttig is currently investigating or
remediating such contamination and property damage pursuant to orders and directives of, or
agreements with, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”). Pursuant to
the MDEQ authority, Huttig has been required to pay and will in the future be required to pay
monies to investigate and remediate the Missoula Site.
17. Huttig seeks a declaratory judgment that the Defendant-Insurers are
obligated to pay on behalf of, or to reimburse and indemnify Huttig for its investigation and
remediation activities associated with the Missoula Site.
A. Ownership History of the Missoula Site
18. In April of 1920, White Pine Sash and Huttig entered into a joint venture
to incorporate Missoula White Pine Sash Company (“MWPS”), with Huttig owning 51 percent
of MWPS. MWPS undertook wood treating and lumber operations at the Missoula Site.
19. In January of 1966, Huttig acquired the remainder of the ownership
interest in MWPS, and MWPS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huttig. Wood treating and
lumber operations continued at the MWPS site.
20. In 1968, Huttig was acquired by and became a subsidiary of Crane Co.
21. In 1971, MWPS merged into Huttig and was no longer a subsidiary of
Huttig.
22. Huttig continued to operate the Missoula Site until it closed in December
of 1996, and it sold the property effective March 31, 1999.
23. On September 21, 1999, Huttig Sash & Door Company changed its name
to Huttig Building Products, Inc.
24. Crane Co. divested its interest in Huttig in December 1999.
B. Huttig’s Environmental Liabilities Related to the Missoula Site
25. The Environmental Protection Agency listed the Missoula Site on the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act Information System
in July 1994.
26. The MDEQ, through its predecessor agency, listed the Missoula Site on
the Comprehensive Environmental Cleanup and Responsibility Act Priority List and notified
Huttig in December of 1994 that Huttig was a potentially liable party.
27. On March 17, 1995, the MDEQ issued a Unilateral Administrative Order
(“UAO”) to Huttig. The UAO determined that Huttig is liable for the Missoula Site as provided
by Section 75-10-715(1) of the Montana Code Annotated and requires completion of a
Remediation Investigation (“RI”) and Feasibility Study (“FS”) by Huttig. The UAO was
amended in October of 2001 and January of 2011 and is currently effective.
28. Pursuant to the UAO, Huttig conducted the RI, including the installation
of monitoring wells, completion of soil borings, collection of groundwater samples, and
completion of an aquifer pump test. Huttig finalized the RI in June of 1998.
29. The Missoula Site was further subject to a Baseline Risk Assessment and
Addendum, several interim remedial actions, a perched-groundwater evaluation, a draft FS
Report, and a vapor intrusion investigation by Huttig and submitted to the MDEQ pursuant to the
UAO.
30. The MDEQ prepared a Proposed Plan, dated February of 2014, which
considers final cleanup options for the Missoula Site.
31. The preferred cleanup plan by the MDEQ involves a soil action plan
including excavation and off-site disposal of soil, excavation and on-site ex-situ enhanced
bioremediation of soil, in-situ chemical oxidation of soil, and a groundwater action plan
requiring in-situ chemical oxidation of groundwater, followed by monitored natural attenuation.
C. Subject Policies Providing Coverage to Huttig
32. At various times during the period from at least 1963 through 1986, the
Defendant-Insurers, in consideration of premiums paid by or on behalf of Huttig, sold primary
and excess comprehensive general liability insurance to Huttig, MWPS, and/or to Crane Co. See
Exhibit 1.
33. Certain of the Subject Policies issued to Crane Co. also provide coverage
to Crane Co.’s subsidiaries, affiliates, and managed or controlled entities, which included Huttig
from the period beginning on June 24, 1968, and at all relevant times thereafter.
34. By issuing the Subject Policies, the Defendant-Insurers undertook, among
other things, to indemnify Huttig in connection with liabilities and related costs, arising from
property damage, such as the Missoula Site Claims.
35. Huttig has complied with all relevant terms and conditions of the Subject
Policies.

CAUSE OF ACTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT
36. The averments in each of the preceding paragraphs are incorporated by
reference as if fully stated herein.
37. Huttig’s actual and potential liability arising out of the Missoula Site
Claims and Huttig’s costs of defending against the Missoula Site Claims are within the coverage
provided by the Subject Policies.
38. With respect to Huttig’s liability arising out of the Missoula Site Claims,
an accident or occurrence, property damage, or other triggering event within the meaning of the
Subject Policies has taken place at the Missoula Site during the policy periods of the Subject
Policies.
39. All conditions precedent, if any, to recover under the Subject Policies have
been satisfied, waived, or are otherwise inapplicable.
40. To date, the Defendant-Insurers have not provided any coverage under the
Subject Policies.
41. An actual controversy currently exists among Huttig and the Defendant-
Insurers regarding the Defendant-Insurers’ duties and obligations under the Subject Policies.
Specifically, Huttig contends that:
a. Each Defendant-Insurer has a duty to indemnify and pay all that Huttig is obligated to pay by reason of the Missoula Site Claims, subject to its policies’
limits of liability, and each Defendant-Insurer is jointly and severally liable for all sums up to the
limits of its policies;
b. Through their policies, the Defendant-Insurers have a duty to
reimburse Huttig costs arising from Huttig’s defense of the Missoula Site Claims, and each
Defendant-Insurer is jointly and severally liable for such costs, subject to the limits of its
policies; and
c. Huttig is entitled to select the insurance policies and policy years
that it will access to provide coverage to Huttig such defense and/or indemnity payments.
42. A judicial declaration by this Court is necessary as to Huttig’s rights and
the Defendant-Insurers’ duties regarding the underlying Missoula Site Claims, as no other
adequate remedy at law is available to Huttig.
43. Pursuant to Missouri’s Declaratory Judgment Act, Huttig is entitled to a
declaration by this Court of its rights and the Defendant-Insurers’ duties for the Missoula Site
Claims under the Subject Policies issued by the Defendant-Insurers. Mo. Ann. Stat. §§ 527.010-
527.080.

WHEREFORE, Huttig demands judgment in its favor against Defendant-Insurers:
a. declaring and adjudging the rights and obligations of the parties under the
Subject Policies with respect to Huttig’s past and future liabilities and related
expenses arising from the Missoula Site Claims;
b. requiring each Defendant-Insurer on a joint and several basis to indemnify
Huttig for, or pay on behalf of Huttig, all liabilities, losses, and/or expenses,
including defense costs, caused by reason of the Missoula Site Claims;
c. enjoining the Defendant-Insurers from failing and refusing to indemnify
Huttig for, or pay on behalf of Huttig, all liabilities, losses, and expenses that have
been and will be incurred with respect to the Missoula Site Claims;
d. granting Huttig specific performance of the Subject Policies issued by the
Defendant-Insurers;
e. for money damages in an amount to be determined at trial, together with
prejudgment and post-judgment interest;
f. for costs of suit;
g. for all counsel fees, expert fees, and other costs related to the litigation of
this matter; and
h.

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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