Insurer's asbestos-related lawsuits at high court

Headline Legal News Posted on

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider reinstating a roughly $500 million settlement of asbestos-related lawsuits against the Travelers Companies Inc.

The settlement would also block any new lawsuits against Travelers arising out of the insurance company's long relationship with Johns Manville Corp., once the world's largest producer of asbestos.

Travelers has been named in dozens of lawsuits claiming that it tried to hide the dangerous health effects of asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used until the mid-1970s in insulation and fireproofing material. Exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other ailments, according to federal health agencies.

The company has argued that asbestos-related claims should be paid out of a trust created by Johns Manville in the 1980s and approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. Money for the fund came largely from insurers.

Travelers agreed to settle with several groups of plaintiffs provided that federal courts make clear that it would not have to face any new similar lawsuits.

The 2nd U.S Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned lower-court approval of the settlement, saying a bankruptcy judge lacks the authority to act so broadly. The justices, at arguments in March, will consider the question of the bankruptcy court's power.

The consolidated cases are The Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Bailey, 08-295, and Common Law Settlement Counsel v. Bailey, 08-307.

Legal News Media

Legal News is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of the site at any time. Your This site is solely for your personal use. You are, of course, welcome to print or otherwise copy material from this site for your personal use. However, you may not distribute, exchange, modify, sell or transmit anything you copy from this Site, including but not limited to any text, images, audio and video, for any business, commercial or public purpose. Any unauthorized use of the text, images, audio and video may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity and civil and criminal statutes.

 

American Bar Association – Start and Run a Law Firm

NewYorkStateBar.com – Starting a Law Firm

CPA Website Designs