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Originally published Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

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Seattle Times Co. suing insurers over cleanup costs

The Seattle Times Co. has sued several insurance companies seeking at least $300,000 in costs for cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination on the Troy Laundry block in South Lake Union, which the company acquired in 1985 and sold in 2011.

By Seattle Times business staff

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The Seattle Times Co. has sued several insurance companies seeking at least $300,000 in costs for cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination on the Troy Laundry block in South Lake Union, which the company acquired in 1985 and sold in 2011.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Seattle after both sides agreed to shift it from Superior Court.

From 1925 to mid-1985 the site on Fairview Avenue was home to an industrial laundry that discharged chlorinated and petroleum-based solvents into the soil. Those pollutants have also migrated into nearby public rights of way, according to the suit.

The suit claims The Times had policies from 1976 to 1986 with Fireman’s Fund, General Insurance and other insurers that obligate them to cover its past and future costs from the environmental contamination.

William Pelandini, a Seattle attorney representing the insurers, could not be reached for comment late Friday.

The Times Co. sold the 2.5-acre property for $18.4 million to Touchstone, a local developer. The brick and terra-cotta façade of the Troy Laundry building is a historic landmark.

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