All-Sums-With-Stacking Rule: Landmark Stringfellow Decision

Analyzing the Impact of the California Supreme Court’s Ruling on Trigger of Coverage, Stacking of Limits, and Allocation of Loss

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will analyze Calilfornia's Stringfellow ruling and its impact on the critical issues of trigger of coverage, all sums allocation and stacking, for long-tail environmental claims, and other long-tail exposures such as asbestos, latent injury and construction defect cases.


The California Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Calif. v. Continental Ins. Co. (the Stringfellow case) handing a victory to the policyholder, thus ending this appeal in lengthy litigation in connection with a federal court-ordered cleanup of the Stringfellow Acid Pits waste site.

The decision addressed critical coverage issues of allocation of liability, stacking of coverage in policies spanning multiple years, and trigger of coverage. The court applied the continuous injury trigger of coverage principle and endorsed an all-sums-with-stacking rule. It did not address contribution and subrogation issues that will follow from its pro-policyholder approach.

The court did say that insurers could include anti-stacking clauses in future policies and rules to limit indemnity or provide for equitable pro rata coverage allocation in the policies. Many insurers already use clear anti-stacking provisions in their environmental liability policies.

Listen as our panel of litigators, including the state of California's lead trial counsel and amicus counsel for insurer organizations in the Stringfellow case, analyzes the court’s ruling and its precedential impact on coverage for long-tail injury claims, and particularly for environmental cleanup claims. The panel will discuss the impact of the case in California and its persuasive value in other jurisdictions.



  1. Analysis of court's Stringfellow ruling
  2. Impact on coverage from policyholder perspective
  3. Impact on coverage from insurer's perspective


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What impact does the ruling have for policyholders to recover additional payment from insurers for ongoing environmental cleanups in California?
  • What impact may the ruling have beyond California, especially in states that do not have well-developed coverage law?
  • What can insurers do to mitigate the impact of the Stringfellow ruling?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Robert M. Horkovich
Robert M. Horkovich

Anderson Kill & Olick

Mr. Horkovich is a litigator with substantial experience in trying complex insurance coverage cases on behalf of...  |  Read More

Laura A. Foggan
Laura A. Foggan

Wiley Rein

Ms. Foggan serves as lead counsel in trial and appellate matters representing insurance companies in complex...  |  Read More

Roger W. Simpson
Roger W. Simpson
Law Offices of Roger W. Simpson

His principal area of practice is insurance coverage for environmental liability.  His practice also includes...  |  Read More

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