Fifth Circuit Rules Insurance Company Has No Duty to Defend After Primary Insurer Declared Insolvent

Canal Insurance Company was the excess and umbrella insurer of Montello, Inc., a manufacturer of oilfield drilling equipment that contained asbestos.  Montello had been sued by individuals claiming injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos in connection with its equipment. In 2003, Montello’s primary insurer, The Home Insurance Company, was declared insolvent by a New Hampshire court without having paid out any claims for bodily injury on Montello’s behalf.

Thereafter, Canal filed suit for declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend Montello …

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Texas Federal Court Ruled Primary Carrier Was Entitled to Reimbursement for Settlement Payments But Not Defense Costs in Connection with Underlying Asbestos Cases

LGS Technologies, LP v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., No. 2:07-CV-399, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139085 (E.D. Tex. Aug 14, 2015)

On October 12, 2015, the district court from the Eastern District of Texas filed an order, accepting the report and recommendation of the Special Master in connection with an asbestos insurance coverage dispute between a variety of primary and excess carriers.   LGS Technologies, LP (LGS), a gasket company, had both primary policies from 1980-83 with ACE, primary policies from 1983-1993 and excess policies from 1986-1993 …

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Court Applied Pennsylvania Law in Asbestos Coverage Case Based on Insured’s Residence

York Int’l Corp. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. 1:10-CV-0692 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 13, 2015)

This decision involves a dispute over whether Pennsylvania or New York law would apply to an insurer’s duty to defend and indemnify an insured for asbestos-related claims. Due to the passage of more than 50 years between the period covered by the relevant policies and the initiation of the lawsuit, no party with firsthand knowledge of the negotiation and consummation of the policies could be identified, and complete copies of …

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Pre-Judgment Interest Above Policy Limits Recoverable Under Pennsylvania Law

General Refractories Company (GRC) has been named as a defendant in over 30,000 asbestos lawsuits since 1978. In 2002, GRC tendered to it excess carriers, including Travelers Casualty (Travelers) and Surety Company (formerly The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company) under a 1985-86 policy. Travelers denied coverage under an asbestos exclusion.  GRC proceeded to settle many of the underlying claims and pursued coverage from Travelers.  In March 2015, the United States District Court ruled that the asbestos exclusion was unenforceable, leaving only a calculation of damages …

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