Health Plans Seek Reimbursement From Pfizer For Asbestos Medical Care

NEW YORK - Thirty-two insurers and health care plans on Sept. 5 sought relief in New York federal bankruptcy court from an injunction in the Chapter 11 case of Quigley Co. Inc. so they can sue Quigley parent Pfizer Inc. for reimbursement of millions of dollars in benefits for asbestos victims, saying...

Judge Dismisses As Moot Insurers' Appeal Of Settlement In Plant Bankruptcy

SAN FRANCISCO - An appeal by nonsettling insurance companies of a $70 million settlement between Chapter 11 debtor Plant Insulation Co. and two other insurers is moot because the settlement is authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and was consummated in good faith and the nonsettling insurers never...

Skinner's Case Closed; Asbestos Claims Can Proceed Against Insurers

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 11 dismissed the 12-year-old converted Chapter 7 case of Skinner Engine Co. Inc., allowing asbestos personal injury claims to proceed against the company's lone remaining asset - insurance policies - in the tort system (In re: Skinner...

Summary Judgment Granted In Duty To Defend Lawsuit In Tennessee Federal Court

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Insurance companies sued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for failing to defend and indemnify an insured sued for personal injuries allegedly caused by the dumping of chlorinated solvents in a landfill were granted summary judgment on Sept. 25 pursuant...

Duty To Defend Suit Filed In West Virginia Dismissed For Lack Of Jurisdiction

BECKLEY, W.Va. - A declaratory judgment lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia by an insurance company that sold an insurance policy to the owners of a residence that was contaminated by the operation of an illicit drug laboratory was dismissed Sept. 24 for...

Special Master Denies Pre-Deposition Meeting After Plaintiffs Withdraw Approval

NEW YORK - A defendant in a couple's asbestos action may not confer with a diagnosing expert in Milan, Italy, before his deposition because the plaintiffs withdrew their authorization, the special master overseeing discovery in New York held Sept. 26 (John W. Adler v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190392-2012...

Federal Judge Compels Arbitration In Disputes Over Asbestos Insurance Coverage

WILMINGTON, Del. - Two insurance companies involved in long-running disputes with Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. over coverage for asbestos claims are bound by an "expansive" 28-year-old agreement to participate in arbitration to resolve the disputes, a Delaware federal judge held Sept...

Louisiana Appeals Panel Upsets Order To Defend Insured In Oil Waste Migration Suit

SHREVEPORT, La. - A unanimous Second Circuit Louisiana of Appeal panel on Oct. 2 ruled that pollution exclusion clauses in commercial general liability policies issued to an oil and gas extraction company relieve the insurers from defending and indemnifying the insured in a legacy pollution lawsuit seeking...

Insurer Relieved Of Duty To Defend, Indemnify Well Field Liquid Waste Hauler

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - A natural gas field waste hauler named in a class action alleging property damage and personal injuries is ineligible for a defense or indemnification from the insurance company that provides its general commercial liability and umbrella policies, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern...

Michigan Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Disposition Against Remediation Defendants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A unanimous Michigan Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 15 affirmed summary disposition for contractors and trucking firms sued for negligently contaminating residential properties when they removed toxic contamination from a shuttered chemical refinery; the trial court properly applied...

9th Circuit Vacates Asbestos Bankruptcy Reorganization; Says Trust Isn't In Control

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 28 vacated the bankruptcy reorganization plan for a former asbestos insulator, finding that the plan failed to satisfy the requirements of Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code dealing with control by asbestos trusts (In Re: Plant Insulation...

Excess Insurers Must Make Simultaneous Payments, Wisconsin Panel Determines

MILWAUKEE - Excess insurers must simultaneously pay their indemnity obligations on behalf of an insured named in hundreds of thousands of underlying asbestos suits because a 2007 judgment pertaining to the coverage obligations and the insurance policies at issue clearly support paying the claims simultaneously...

California Court Finds Condominium Owner Suffered No Covered Loss

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a condominium owner suffered no covered loss in relation to the demolition of an allegedly leaking shower that caused mold, a California appeals court on Oct. 30 affirmed a decision to deny him coverage under his insurance policy (Paul Sigelman v. State Farm General Insurance...

New York Panel Majority Affirms No Coverage Owed For Underlying Lead Suit

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying personal injury suit arising out of lead exposure because the insurer submitted sufficient evidence that it properly notified its insured of the addition of a lead exclusion to the policy, a New York appellate court...

Bankruptcy Judge Denies Reconsideration Of Pittsburgh Corning Plan Confirmation

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 12 mostly denied a motion by two insurance companies to reconsider confirmation of Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, granting the request only to make clear what affiliates of the debtor are protected from asbestos...

California Federal Judge Dismisses Insurer's Coverage Action Against Flintkote

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment action filed against Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. to determine insurance coverage rights and obligations because the same issues were recently decided in Delaware federal court (Aviva PLC v. The...

Delaware Court: Dissolved Company's Insurance Proceeds Warrant Appointing Receiver

WILMINGTON, Del. - Undistributed insurance proceeds are the property of a company dissolved more than 10 years ago, and a receiver must be appointed to defend against asbestos actions, the Delaware Supreme Court held Nov. 26 (Anderson v. Krafft-Murphy Co., No. 85,2013, Del. Sup.).

Federal Judge Finds Issue Of Fact Exists On Insureds' Structural Damage Claim

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Nov. 26 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment, finding that an issue of fact exists as to whether an accidental plumbing leak that caused water and mold issues at a home also caused structural damage to the property (Jeff and Stacie Coder v...

Federal Judge Remands Homeowners Insurance Coverage Action

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 12 granted a motion to remand filed by homeowners seeking insurance coverage for plumbing issues, finding that diversity jurisdiction did not exist (Josie Rodis, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-07686, C.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

11th Circuit Affirms Document Discovery Ruling For Ecuador

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 18 affirmed a decision requiring an expert to produce certain documents for use in foreign proceedings, finding that the materials did not contain any core opinion work product of Chevron Corp.'s attorneys (Republic of Ecuador, et al. v. Chevron...

Md. Federal Judge Interprets Insurance Coverage In Favor Of Asbestos Defendant

BALTIMORE - While two insurance companies are correct that Maryland follows the horizontal exhaustion rule for determining primary and excess policy coverage, the rule must be applied based on the theory of pro-rata allocation, as a former insulation company seeking coverage for asbestos personal injury...

Dismissal Of Benzene Soil Contamination Claims Affirmed By New Jersey Court

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Jan. 9 affirmed dismissal of benzene soil contamination claims with prejudice against all defendants except an insurer whose policy did not contain a fuel-system exclusion (David Seltzer v. Kristofer Chiesa, et al., No. A-2393...

Judge: Plaintiff May Be Allowed To Introduce Internal Toxicity Study

DETROIT - The widow of a Ford Motor Co. mechanic may be allowed to introduce an internal memorandum from Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. purporting to show that the company in 1991 rejected a recommendation that it process its products to remove or reduce levels of benzene, a Michigan federal judge ruled Jan...

Wisconsin Appeals Panel Affirms Pollution Exclusion Applies To Septage Application

WAUSAU, Wis. - A unanimous District III Wisconsin Court of Appeals panel affirmed judgment on Jan. 14 that pollution exclusion clauses in commercial general liability insurance policies relieve the insurers of duties to defend and indemnify the operators of a septic service company for contaminating...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pollution Exclusion Prevents Coverage For Groundwater Contamination, Judge Says

INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on July 7 ruled that a pollution exclusion in a company's insurance policy "unambiguously excluded" it from coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals...