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Markel unit not obligated to cover railroad worker's "welder's lung"



A Markel Corp. unit is not required to provide coverage to a railroad worker who developed occupational disease under his employer's commercial policy of exclusion, says a federal appeals court in upholding a lower court's ruling.

years for Sandersville, Georgia-based Sandersville Railroad Co., having a fleet of rail cars and spending much of his time welding, according to Friday's ruling by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in Evanston Insurance Co. vs. Sandersville Railroad Co.

In 2012, doctors diagnosed with Mr. Flowers with a lung disease called siderosis, or welder's lung. Mr. Flowers made a claim to Sandersville in January 2013, and later filed suit under the Federal Employer's Liability Act, allegedly caused by occupational exposure to welding materials containing iron, including a Markel subsidiary, dispute

Evanston declined coverage based on a pollution exclusion in the railroad's CGL policy. After Sandersville, the claim for an undisclosed amount, Evanston filed suit in U.S. District Court in Macon, Georgia, claiming to be covered in coverage

opinion

Applying rulings by the Georgia Supreme Court, "we find that the policy's exclusion clause unambiguously excludes coverage of the Flowers welder's lung claim," said the ruling. In these cases, the injured parties had allegedly incurred their injuries from the release of carbon monoxide and from the inhalation and ingestion of lead paint, according to the ruling.

In November, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling in Evanston's favor in holding a multiple-vehicle crash caused by runaway truck was a single occurrence under a commercial auto policy.


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