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Friday, March 13, 2009

Asarco Asbestosis case ruling on 3-11-09 favors Policyholders facing liability claims (ruled in favor of ASARCO)

"Texas Court Finds Asbestosis Exclusion in Insurance Policies Limited

Policyholders facing liability because of asbestos claims will benefit from a March 11 Texas state court ruling, according to the law firm Anderson Kill & Olick.

Judge J. Manuel Ba�ales of the 105th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, ruled that "asbestosis" exclusion bars coverage only for asbestosis claims and does not bar coverage for claims involving mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural plaques or any other asbestos-related disease.

The ruling came in a case brought by ASARCO LLC on the scope of an asbestosis exclusion sold by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. ASARCO LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., et al., No. 01-2680-D (105th Jud. Dist. Ct. Nueces County Tex. Mar. 11, 2009).

On motion for partial summary judgment, ASARCO sought a ruling that the exclusion applied only to claims arising from the specific disease known as asbestosis. In opposition, Fireman's Fund argued that the exclusion barred coverage for all asbestos-related diseases.

ASARCO, a copper company based in Tucson, Arizona, declared bankruptcy in 2005. At issue in the coverage action is a determination of insurance coverage for past, present and future asbestos liabilities.

Judge J. Manuel Ba�ales of the 105th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, issued the Order granting partial summary judgment to ASARCO. Jorge C. Rangel of The Rangel Law Firm in Corpus Christi, Texas, is ASARCO's local counsel in the case.

Source: Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C."

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