Wisconsin Court: Manure Isn’t Pollutant Under Policy

December 12, 2013

A Wisconsin appeals court says manure isn’t a pollutant as defined in an insurance policy.

The case began in 2011 when the state Department of Natural Resources notified West Bend dairy farmer Robert Falk that manure spread on his fields had contaminated neighbors’ wells.

The neighbors demanded compensation. Falk notified his insurance company, Wilson Mutual.

The company’s policy excluded coverage for damage caused by pollutants, including waste. A judge this year ruled the exclusion is valid, ruling farmers consider manure waste.

But the 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed that finding on Dec. 11. The court said farmers consider manure a nutrient for their fields, not a pollutant, and Wilson Mutual’s pollution exclusion doesn’t apply to manure used as fertilizer.

The company’s attorney declined comment. Falk’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message.


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Latest Comments

  • December 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    LLOSANTE says:
    It's the smell of money!
  • December 13, 2013 at 10:39 am
    Stephen Franz says:
    It may be cr@p to you, it's farmers bread & buutter.
  • December 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    perplexed says:
    Yes, FFA, nothing quite as bad as a pig farm. There used to be one 16 miles from our little farm and if the wind was blowing right we were smelling that aroma. There's nothin... read more
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