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Larry D. Mason Discusses Forever Chemicals Ruling and Novel Insurance Issue with Law360


Larry D. Mason Discusses Forever Chemicals Ruling and Novel Insurance Issue with Law360

June 21, 2023
Larry D. Mason

Larry D. Mason, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services and Environmental Law practice groups, spoke with Law360 regarding an unpublished decision in which a personal protective-equipment (PPE) maker sued its insurer for denying coverage in a lawsuit brought by firefighters, who claimed their cancer was caused by so-called ‘forever chemicals’ that were present in their PPE.

The unpublished ruling from the circuit court dismissed the case, as they deemed it to be a novel insurance issue that is a matter of state law.

Larry explained that while he does not think other federal appeals courts would make the same ruling, the circuit court followed appropriate precedent in its decision on having jurisdiction according to the Declaratory Judgment Act.

“At the end of the day, the court is correct that this case turns on an unsettled issue of Ohio insurance law,” Larry said.

Further, he stated that the PPE maker will have difficulty in arguing its case in state court, given there is an occupational disease argument and a prior case seeing a similar argument which confirmed a denial of coverage.

“My prediction is that while [the insurer] has not succeeded in having its coverage dispute resolved in its preferred forum, the ultimate resolution of this case will be favorable,” he said. “Unlike many insurers confronted with PFAS claims, [the insurer] has the advantage of its occupational disease exclusion endorsement.”


6th Circ.’s PFAS Ruling Shows Novelty a Matter of State Law,” Law360, June 16, 2023 [Subscription Required]


Larry D. Mason is a renowned trial and appellate litigator and counselor to many national and international businesses across diverse industries. Based in Chicago but with experience litigating and counseling clients through complicated and high-profile matters across the country and internationally, he dedicates most of his practice to insurance coverage, reinsurance, commercial litigation, environmental and toxic torts, and complex insurance regulatory matters. He also focuses on professional liability for clients in insurance, environmental, construction, and related industries; products liability; and identifying emerging risks. He brings his extensive experience to leadership positions in the firm, where he is chair of the Environmental and Mass Torts Coverage, First-Party Property, and Construction Coverage subgroups.