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GE loses asbestos cover fight, plans $115M charge

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ALBANY, N.Y.—General Electric Co. said that it will take a $115 million aftertax charge in the first quarter following an unfavorable state court decision regarding its insurance coverage for thousands of asbestos claims.

Ruling Thursday on Appalachian Insurance Co. vs. General Electric Co., the New York Court of Appeals in Albany--which is the state's highest court--found that each claimant's exposure to asbestos insulation in GE turbine engines is a separate occurrence for the purposes of GE's insurance recoveries.

The decision, which upholds lower court rulings, prevents GE from accessing two decades worth of excess liability insurance.

Fairfield, Conn.-based GE said in a statement: "We are disappointed in the decision, which is contrary to how the majority of courts have ruled. We are reviewing our options."