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Law360 Interviews Tae Andrews on Financial and Legal Stakes in Hawaii Climate-Change Coverage Lawsuit

Jun. 25, 2024

A novel Hawaiian case over whether an AIG insurer has a duty to defend Sunoco subsidiary Aloha Petroleum against a lawsuit claiming it contributed to climate change has huge implications for policyholders and insurers as they increasingly tussle over the cost of earth-warming emissions.  In an interview with Law360, Counsel Tae Andrews commented on the significance of the case and how the decision could set a precedent for future climate-change claims.

“It’s extremely important for corporate policyholders because these climate-change lawsuits could be ‘bet the company’-type litigation,” said Andrews.  “The defense fees alone can stretch into the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.” 

Andrews explained that if there’s even the mere potential for coverage, it should trigger the insurers’ duty to defend.  “That’s a very important legal standard, and I think in many ways, some of these lawsuits — again, beyond just being important to the parties in the actual lawsuit — it's really about upholding that standard, and making sure that it remains broad in the future for other policyholders,” he added.

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Tae Andrews
Named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2022

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