Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department
June 1, 2000, Decided ; June 1, 2000, Entered
[*52] [**27] Wallach, J. P.
This appeal requires us to determine important issues of insurance law which arise in the context of a liquidation proceeding under the supervision of respondent Superintendent of Insurance. Among the questions presented are a determination [*53] as to when insurance coverage attaches (triggers) with respect to a policy covering "exposure" to asbestos-related risks; the effect, whether binding or otherwise, of a New Jersey Federal [***2] District Court decision on the outcome here; and the construction and effect of "Other Insurance" clauses in both the Midland and other policies coextensive with Midland Insurance Company's excess coverage during certain relevant time periods. The claimant (LAQ), here asserting the broadest possible Midland coverage, is a mining, manufacturing and distributing company. Opposing these arguments, on behalf of other claimants and creditors against Midland's assets, is respondent Superintendent.
The matter comes to this Court on an agreed statement of facts, pertinent of which are as follows. LAQ is a Delaware corporation which, until the cessation of operations in 1986, engaged in the mining, milling and selling of asbestos fiber in Quebec, Canada. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASARCO, a New Jersey corporation headquartered in New York.
From 1954 through 1962 ASARCO purchased liability insurance, including coverage for product liability hazards, from Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation, with annual policy limits of $ 50,000. From 1962 through 1976 it purchased similar coverage from Canadian General Insurance Company, with aggregate limits of $ 100,000 from 1972 to [***3] February 1974 and $ 300,000 to February 1976. Canadian General has entered into a $ 1.7 million settlement with LAQ for all obligations under policies it issued.
From March 15, 1975 through March 15, 1976, LAQ was also covered by a $ 3 million umbrella policy issued by American Home Assurance Company (AHAC). For the period from March 15 through April 29, 1975, LAQ purchased an additional $ 20 million in excess coverage from Highlands Insurance Company. By its terms, the Highlands policy was subject to, and would follow the form of, the underlying AHAC policy. An affidavit from the insurance manager for ASARCO indicates that the Highlands policy was originally intended to be limited to one year, but that Highlands canceled the coverage effective April 29, 1975. Inasmuch as the form policy was not actually generated until May 7, 1975, after coverage had been canceled, the policy actually recited coverage for the period from March 15 to April 29.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
269 A.D.2d 50 *; 709 N.Y.S.2d 24 **; 2000 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6085 ***
In the Matter of the Liquidation of Midland Insurance Company. Lac D'Amiante du Quebec, Ltee. (ASARCO), Appellant-Respondent; Superintendent of Insurance of the State of New York, as Liquidator of Midland Insurance Company, Respondent-Appellant.
Subsequent History: Appeal denied by Midland Ins. Co.- Lac D'Amiante du Quebec, Ltee v. Superintendent of Ins., 2000 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 10264 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't, Sept. 28, 2000)
Prior History: [***1] Cross appeals from an order of the Supreme Court (Beverly Cohen, J.), entered August 5, 1998 in New York County, which, inter alia, granted in part and denied in part the Superintendent's motion to confirm and the claimant's cross motion to reject the report and recommendation of the Referee.
Lac D'Amiante Du Quebec, Ltee. v. American Home Assurance Co., 613 F. Supp. 1549, 1985 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17305 (D.N.J., 1985)In re Liquidation of Midland Ins. Co., 164 Misc. 2d 363, 623 N.Y.S.2d 689, 1994 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 650 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 1994)Lac D'Amiante Du Quebec, Ltee v. American Home Assur. Co., 864 F.2d 1033, 1988 U.S. App. LEXIS 17590 (3d Cir. N.J., 1988)
policies, coverage, exposure, insured, triggered, declaration, inhalation, clauses, occurrence, disease, Vacate, self-insured, obligations, retention, collectible insurance, policy period, exhausted, asbestos, collectible, asbestosis, manifestation, exposure to asbestos, excess policy, fail to meet, limits, prior insurance, asbestos-related, canceled, prorated, terms
Business & Corporate Compliance, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Compensability, Occupational Diseases, Environmental Law, Hazardous Wastes & Toxic Substances, Asbestos, General Overview, Insurance Law, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Coverage, Asbestos Claims, Triggers, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Injuries, Manifestation Triggers, Business Insurance, Occurrences, Policy Interpretation, Reasonable Expectations, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Deductibles, Real Property Law, Environmental Regulations, Indoor Air & Water Quality, Types of Insurance, Excess Insurance, Following Form Policies, Insurer Insolvency, Liquidations & Rehabilitations, Policy Cancellation, Denial & Nonrenewal, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Labor & Employment Law, Employer Liability, Third Party Insurers, Ambiguous Terms, Unambiguous Terms, Plain Language, Relationship Between Clauses, Multiple Insurers