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Bituminous Cas. Corp. v. Iles

2013 IL App (5th) 120485 (Ill. App., 2013)

Words & Phrases

Limits Of Liability

Trial Judge

Hon.Thomas J. Foster

Appellate Judge

Justice Stewart


Occurrence limit rather than aggregate limits applied to multiple deaths and injuries from explosion of oil and gas well.

Fact Summary

 This insurance dispute arose after an explosion at an oil and gas well. The dispute centers around the interpretation of two commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies and whether the policies are ambiguous with respect to the limits of the insurance company's liability under the policies for all bodily injury suffered by oil well workers as a result of the explosion. The circuit court held that the language of the policies' limits was ambiguous, construed the policies against the insurance company, and held that the insurance company's limit of liability was the "General Aggregate Limit" (General Aggregate Limit) of each policy instead of the "Each Occurrence Limit" (Each Occurrence Limit). The insurance company appeals the circuit court's judgment. For the following reasons, we reverse, holding that the limits of coverage contained within the CGL policies are not ambiguous. The unambiguous language of the policies provides that the Each Occurrence Limit for each policy controls the insurance company's limit of liability for all bodily injury caused by the explosion.