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News

Mar 28, 2017: Jim Bowie and Hillary Bouchard won an appeal before the Law Court affirming the denial of coverage in a duty to defend case

Jim Bowie and Hillary Bouchard won an appeal on behalf of the Maine Municipal Association Property & Casualty Pool ("MMA") with regard to a case brought against MMA by the City of South Portland and its Code Enforcement Officer (the "City"). On appeal, the City claimed that the trial court erred in finding that MMA had no duty to defend the City and officials in a highly publicized underlying lawsuit brought against the City by the Portland Pipeline Corporation and American Waterways Operation ("PPLC"). PPLC had brought suit against the City after the City passed an Ordinance prohibiting the bulk loading of crude oil on to marine tank vessels in South Portland. In affirming the decision in favor of MMA, the Law Court found that coverage with regard to the PPLC lawsuit was clearly and unambiguously excluded by a policy provision precluding coverage where damages were "caused or occasioned by... an impairment of title, diminution of value, loss of value, inability to realize or obtain full value, diminution of use, loss of use, or inability to realize or obtain full use, of... any property right... allegedly or actually caused by or resulting from governmental action, omission or conduct of any nature." The full decision can be found at 2017 ME 57.

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