Vanderbilt Law Review

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From 1973 to 1985, comprehensive general liability (CGL) insur- ance policies contained a pollution exclusion clause.' The plethora of litigation spawned by this clause, however, has done little to clarify either its meaning or its relationship to the policy as a whole.' Uncertainty regarding the scope of liability coverage under this clause drives many of the hazardous waste and toxic tort lawsuits filed. Courts have interpreted the pollution exclusion clause variously, often admitting that the law in this area is a confusing array of policy arguments and conflicting drafting histories. Part II of this Note sets forth the historical framework of the CGL policies and environmental litigation, including the role of recent congressional action in intensifying the controversy. Part III examines the state supreme court decisions that have interpreted the exclusion's "sudden and accidental" language. Finally, Part IV examines the solutions suggested by commentators in the field and proposes an alternate resolution to this vexatious problem of interpretation.

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