Peter Hayes for Bloomberg reports on how an insurer in Georgia has no duty to defend claims that a child ingested lead-based paint from a rental property. The ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court earlier this month falls under a pollution exclusion that claims lead-based paint unambiguously is excluded from being labeled a “pollutant” under an “absolute pollution exclusion policy.”

The exclusion bars coverage for bodily injury or property damage resulting from exposure to any “pollutant,” which it defines as “any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste.”

As a result, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. has no duty to defend Bobby Chupp against allegations by Amy Smith that her daughter suffered permanent injury from the ingestion of lead-based paint in the house she rented from Chupp, the court said.

The court cited its ruling in Reed v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 2008 BL 221797 (Ga. 2008), finding carbon monoxide gas to be a “pollutant.”

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