Irving Oil Ltd. et al. v. ACE INA Ins.Annotate this Case
Dozens of suits were filed against Irving Oil Limited (IOL) alleging environmental contamination by methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) occurring from 1979 to the present. At the time of this opinion, all of the MTBE suits against IOL had been settled. In 2009, IOL filed a complaint asking the superior court to declare that ACE INA Insurance (ACE) had a duty to defend and indemnify in the MTBE suits. The superior court granted IOL’s motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part, concluding that it could not declare that IOL was entitled a judgment on the duty-to-defend count as a matter of law. IOL appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed IOL’s appeal and ACE’s cross-appeal, holding that although a decision that an insurer does not have a duty to defend its insured is ordinarily immediately appealable under the death knell exception to the final judgment rule, the exception did not apply in this case because there were no MTBE cases pending against IOL.