AES Corp. v. Steadfast Ins. Co.Annotate this Case
The AES Corporation paid premiums to Steadfast Insurance Company for commercial general liability (CGL) policies. In February 2008, the village and city of Kivalina, a community located on an Alaskan barrier island, filed a lawsuit (the Complaint) in the U.S. district court against AES and other defendants for allegedly damaging the village by causing global warming through emission of greenhouse gases. Steadfast provided AES a defense under a reservation of rights and filed a declaratory judgment action, claiming that it did not owe AES a defense or indemnity regarding the Complaint. The circuit court granted Steadfast's motion for summary judgment, holding that the Complaint did not allege property damage caused by an "occurrence" as that term was defined in AES's contracts of insurance with Steadfast. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Kivalina did not allege that its property damage was the result of a fortuitous event or accident, and therefore, such a loss was not covered under the relevant CGL policies.