Boston Gas Com. v. Century Indem. Co., No. 11-1931 (1st Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff here was Boston Gas Company and Defendant was Century Indemnity Company, one of Boston Gas's insurers. Environmental contamination was later found at many of Boston Gas's former gas plant sites. Boston Gas filed this action seeking a declaratory judgment as to Century's obligations under policies issued to Boston Gas. Jury trials were held with respect to two sites included in the cleanup, the Everett and Commercial Point sites. The Everett site litigation first went to trial. Before the parties reached a settlement, the supreme judicial court (SJC) found a pro rata allocation method applied for allocating liability for the contamination where Century had provided coverage for the risk for only a portion of the time during which the contamination took place. Meanwhile, the jury found Century liable for $1,699,145 in the Commercial Point litigation. The trial judge deferred entry of final judgment pending the outcome of the Everett appeal. The district court ultimately (1) concluded that in the wake of the SJC ruling in the Everett litigation, by allocating damages across a 121-year span in the case of the Commercial Point site, this reduced Century's share of damages from 100 percent to less than fifteen percent; and (2) vacated the damages award and ordered a new trial on the issue of which of the costs were subject to an exclusion in the GCL policy. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.