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

RACETRAC PETROLEUM, INC. v. ACE AMERICAN INS. CO. (Appeal)

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
11-12023 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Racetrac Petroleum, Inc.
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
United States. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Date Filed: 
Jul 13 2011

"This case involves an interpretation of the commercial general liability insurance policies that Racetrac Petroleum, Inc. ("Racetrac") purchased from Ace American Insurance Company ("ACE"). Racetrac was sued by two individuals who claim they suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to Racetrac's gasoline products. When ACE refused to cover Racetrac for those claims, Racetrac sought a declaratory judgment, claiming that the policies covered their excess liability. The district court found that Racetrac failed to state a claim for declaratory relief upon which relief may be granted and dismissed Racetrac's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court found that the pollution exclusion clause in the policies precluded coverage. Racetrac now appeals.

After carefully reviewing the record and the district court's order, we conclude that the court properly granted the motion to dismiss. The pollution exclusion provision in the policies expressly excludes coverage for injuries caused by "any substance if such substance has, or is alleged to have, the effect of making the [air] impure, harmful, or dangerous," including the air within a structure. As the district court correctly found, Racetrac seeks coverage for the injured employees' claims that "allege that the gasoline vapor, and specifically the toxic benzene contained in it, made the air they inhaled impure, harmful, and dangerous, which resulted in their claimed physical injuries." Such claims fall squarely within the policies' pollution exclusion.

We also agree with the district court that the pollution exclusion does not violate Georgia public policy since the liability insurance policies at issue are primarily intended to provide Racetrac with coverage for the countless other risks associated with operating convenience stores."

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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