judge with gavel

Defendant Survives Dismissal of its Claims for Contribution and Indemnification

VIRGIN ISLANDS — Litwin Corporation (Litwin) filed suit against General Engineering Corporation (GEC) seeking contribution and indemnification related to over a hundred asbestos suits filed against Litwin in the United States Virgin Islands. Prior to suit, Litwin settled with the claimants. Litwin then sought contribution and indemnification to mitigate its settlement costs. GEC moved to dismiss the complaint and Litwin responded in opposition.

The case was reassigned because of its similarity with the claims pending with a case known as In re : Kelvin Manboth Asbestos Litigation (Manboth).

The plaintiff, Litwin, alleged that was entitled to recovery against GEC as successor in interest to Reed, Wible and Brown, Inc. for “performing services in the refinery which exposed others to catalyst, asbestos…” Specifically, Litwin believed GEC should indemnify it because GEC’s actions were the basis for claimants’ suits against Litwin. On the other hand, GEC argued that the complaint was vague and did not rise to the level required to sustain the allegations. GEC also pointed out that Litwin had similar claims pending in the Manboth litigation which equally failed to state claims.

The court noted that Litwin’s opposition assumed arguments made by GEC that had not been made. According to the court, Litwin addressed issues in its reply that perhaps were made by GEC in the Manboth litigation but that were not present in the instant motion. However, what was dispositive in the instant matter was the fact that GEC relied upon cases that did not involve contribution and indemnity according to the court. The court therefore denied GEC’s motion to dismiss.