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Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 98 NY2d 208, 774 N.E.2d 687, 746 N.Y.S.2d 622 (1998), the Court of Appeals addressed the issue of allocating liability for continuing losses involving multiple successive insurers and a continuous harm.

The Court held that, under policies providing coverage for "all sums" attributable to damage or injuries that occurred during "the policy period," where there is no ability to pinpoint the loss, a pro rata allocation among the successive policies is consistent with the language of such policies.

Specifically, the Court found that, where the language of the policy limits liability to injury that occurs during the policy period, "collecting all the indemnity from a particular policy presupposes the ability to pin an accident to a particular policy period," while "proration of liability among the insurers acknowledges the fact that there is uncertainty as to what actually transpired during any particular policy period."