The Governor of Oregon has now signed into law far-reaching changes to ORS 465.475 et seq, the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act.  The changes include, most notably, addition of a specific cause of action against an insurer for bad faith denial of coverage, patterned on the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA).  Although constitutional challenges to the statute are a near-certainty, many provisions of the law will be beyond challenge and may help change the power dynamic between carriers and policyholders on environmental coverage issues in Oregon.  And as I have mentioned before, in light of the staggering projected cost of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site ($2 billion and growing), if this law does what it was designed to do it may be the largest change in Oregon insurance law by total dollar value in recent memory.  Many, many businesses (large and small) have become ensnared in the Superfund action and this law will help skilled policy-holder side lawyers representing those businesses clear some of the significant hurdles to getting indemnity coverage to fund the cleanup.

SB 814 :: Oregon Legislature Bill Tracker – Your Government – The Oregonian:

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