By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: December 21, 1988
LEAD: A finding by a California jury on Monday against the Shell Oil Company may influence similar suits involving pollution damage, parties in the case and in similar cases said yesterday.
Shell’s 250 insurers had argued that the oil company was not covered by any of its 800 policies because it knew it was polluting the ground water at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, near Denver.
Shell plans to appeal the ruling, which came in San Mateo County Superior Court. The cleanup cost, to be split by Shell and the Army and to be spread over 10 years, has been estimated at as much as $2 billion.