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Policy Excludes Coverage for Liability in U.S. Caused By Toys Made in China

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By FindLaw Staff on April 05, 2010 4:18 PM

ACE Am. Ins. Co. v. RC2 Corp., Inc., No. 09-3032, concerned a toy manufacturer's suit seeking declaratory relief and damages from its insurer for refusing to defend plaintiff in an underlying class action lawsuit against the toy maker of such toys as "Thomas & Friends" toy trains for exposure to lead paint.  At issue was the parties' interpretation of the word "occurrence" for purposes of determining whether policy covered liability occurring in China or in the U.S.

As stated in the decision: "[T]he policies are clear that the "occurrence" that triggers coverage takes place where the actual event that inflicts the harm takes place.  And based on the undisputed facts in this case, the "occurrence" here happened at the location (or locations) of the exposure itself: within the United States."

In reversing the district court's decision in favor of the insured, the court held that, under Illinois law, the policies unambiguously excluded coverage for the alleged harm caused by exposure to defective products that occurred in the United States regardless of whether antecedent negligence took place. 

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