In the seminal case of Owens-Illinois v. United Ins. Co., 138 N.J. 437 (1994), the Supreme Court of New Jersey adopted the continuous trigger theory for determining insurance coverage in cases involving progressive environmental injury. Generally speaking, this theory triggers all insurance policies on the risk from the time of “exposure” until an injury becomes “manifest.” Since the issuance of Owens-Illinois in 1994, lower courts have grappled with when and how to apply the “continuous trigger” approach. Last month the Appellate Division, in Air Master & Cooling v. Selective Insurance Company of America, 2017 WL 4507547 (October 10, 2017), applied the continuous trigger formula to questions of liability coverage in a third-party construction defect case, further defining when the trigger ends.
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