North Carolina Court Rules In Favor Of All Sums
A North Carolina court recently ruled in favor of all sums allocation. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC v. AG Insurance SA/NV, No. 17 CVS 5594 (N.C. Sup. Ct.). In that case, Duke Energy is seeking coverage for “liabilities linked to coal combustion residuals (‘CCRs’), i.e., coal ash, at fifteen Duke-owned power plants in North and South Carolina.” In a recent summary judgment decision, the court resolved a dispute between Duke and TIG Insurance Company, as successor to Ranger Insurance Company, about whether all sums allocation or pro rata allocation applied.
The court found that “the non-cumulation provisions make plain” that all sums allocation applied. It also noted that “a large majority of the courts in other jurisdictions that have considered this issue have recognized that non-cumulation provisions such as those here compel all sums rather than pro rata allocation.” The decisions to the contrary, according to the court, had ruled “done so on public policy grounds” and not based on “the application of the rules of contract interpretation.”
Relatedly, the court found issues of fact related to the governing allocation under other policies, stating “the current record is insufficient to permit the Court to determine whether relevant, specific policy language in these policies is undisputed, precluding summary judgment at this time.”