Indianapolis makes new commitment to brownfields redevelopment thanks to insurance recovery
Major Tool and Machine expanded its Indianapolis factory onto the former site of Ertel Manufacturing, once a brownfield. The site was remediated through a combination of grants, tax increment financing and federal programs. Photo via Facebook.
When Ertel Manufacturing closed down in 2002, it left behind land contaminated with half a dozen different toxic substances. After spending millions of dollars to clean up and remediate the site, the City of Indianapolis has won legal victory over the company that insured Ertel Manufacturing—and the City is putting that money back into remediation efforts.
The City of Indianapolis recently won a $6 million insurance settlement over the Ertel Manufacturing site, which was abandoned after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002. The victory is one of “insurance recovery” (or “insurance archeology”), where insurers are held liable for the cleanup costs of polluting businesses that held comprehensive general liability (CGL) policies. It is most often used in instances where the business is now bankrupt or is not financially viable and the CGL policies were written between 1945 and 1985.