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WV High Court: Liability Coverage Due for Latent Disease, Even Years after Policy Dates

November 13, 2023

Liability insurers that write in West Virginia and beyond received some unsettling and expensive news from the state Supreme Court last week: Without iron-clad policy language barring coverage, long-tail illness claims must be covered and a carrier has a duty to defend – even it the disease didn’t manifest itself until years after a policy had expired.

In answering a certified question from the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the West Virginia Supreme Court decided that the “continuous trigger” theory must apply to injuries alleged to have come from toxic exposure from a manufacturer.

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