636 So. 2d 700 (Fla. 1993)
The question was whether, as a matter of law, a pollution exclusion clause contained in appellee insurer's comprehensive general liability insurance policy precluded coverage to appellant insureds for liability for the environmental contamination that occurred in the matter sub judice.
- The court answered the question in the affirmative and concluded that the pollution damage was not within the scope of appellee's policy.
- The pollution took place over a period of many years, and most of it occurred gradually.
- With respect to the pollution which resulted from oil spills and leaks at the site, as well as from occasional runoff of contaminated rain water, the court agreed with the federal district judge that the spills and leaks appeared to be common place events that occurred in the course of daily business.
- Therefore, they were not, as a matter of law, classified as "sudden and accidental," terms which the court found not to be ambiguous and, thus, accorded their ordinary and common usage thereto.
The certified question of law, whether environmental contamination was within the scope of appellee insurer's policy exclusion for pollution, was answered affirmatively. The court held that the usual and ordinary meaning of the terms "sudden and accidental" were unambiguous and, as a result, evinced a finding that the pollution occurred gradually and over many years; thus, the contamination was precluded from coverage under appellee's policy.
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