City of Bremerton v. Harbor Ins. Co

In City of Bremerton v. Harbor Ins. Co. (1998) 92 Wn. App. 17 963 P.2d 194, residents in the vicinity of a sewage treatment plant sued for damages for " 'noxious and toxic fumes,' " and " 'foul and obnoxious odors and toxic gases' " emitted by the facility. (Id. at p. 195.) The court held that the pollution exclusion applied: "The policy defines a 'pollutant' as any 'irritant or contaminant' and specifically lists 'fumes' and 'gases' as examples. The language unambiguously excludes claims arising from 'fumes' and 'gases' from coverage. Furthermore, the specified examples of 'irritants or contaminants' in the exclusion language are listed as non-exclusive types of 'pollutants' subject to exclusion from coverage. The list is illustrative and not exhaustive and odors are effectively excluded as well. A reasonable person reviewing this language would expect that 'noxious and toxic fumes' and 'foul and toxic odors and gases' are 'pollutants' within the meaning of the pollution exclusion." (Id. at p. 197.)