Asbestos Claims

The book on asbestos-related claims is far from closed. Insurers involved in disputes related to asbestos need legal advisors with extensive history and knowledge in this complex area of law. Our attorneys have the depth of experience and strong capabilities necessary to provide the full range of asbestos claims advice, counseling, and litigation.

We represent insurers in connection with asbestos bodily injury and property damage claims under primary, umbrella and excess policies. We provide our clients with advice regarding their policyholders’ demands for coverage and litigate coverage disputes in state and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, either by filing declaratory judgment actions to resolve disputes or defending suits brought by the insureds, other insurers or even tort plaintiffs.

Our attorneys regularly assume a lead role among insurers in joint defense groups at all stages of litigation, from pre-trial to discovery and at trial. We have secured landmark rulings in favor of insurers in trial and appellate courts across the country. We also work to resolve disputes out of court and have negotiated numerous settlements on very favorable terms.

  • Handled a multi-month trial that resulted in the state court finding the insured’s settlement, which was based on a pre-packaged bankruptcy, was improper and could not be imposed on the dozens of defendant insurers. We also negotiated a very favorable settlement of the parallel bankruptcy case, resulting in payment of a fraction of the limits at issue and obtaining an outright dismissal of the remaining phases of the state court coverage action.
  • Represented two insurers that were sued along with scores of other carriers in more than 160 direct actions in two states for allegedly failing to protect the insured’s employees and contractors from asbestos exposures. We worked with other carriers to obtain dismissals of every active action at the trial court level and argued and won the state court appeal that led to the plaintiffs discontinuing their efforts in that state.
  • Negotiated a very favorable settlement of a coverage dispute over asbestos bodily injury claims before litigation ensued. Among other things, the agreement resolved a dispute about the amount of limits under the policies at issue, saving our client tens of millions of dollars in limits of liability.
  • Took a leading role in the joint defense group in a complicated state court coverage case filed by the insured and positioned the case to facilitate resolution despite the policyholder’s resistance to talking settlement, ultimately achieving a positive result for our insurer clients.
  • Crafted the class action mechanisms to resolve over $1 billion in asbestos liabilities of an insured California manufacturer and distributor.

Rankings & Recognition

  • Chambers USA - Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Insurer – Nationwide (2007-2017)
  • Chambers USA - Insurance: Insurer – District of Columbia (2005-2017)
  • Chambers USA - Insurance: Insurer – California (2007-2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report - Best Law Firms: Insurance Law – National (2010-2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report - Best Law Firms: Insurance Law – Metropolitan Washington, DC (2010-2017)
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