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In Brief

Posted On: Jul. 8, 2007 12:00 AM CST

Travelers, ACandS settle asbestos claims

The Travelers Cos. Inc. and ACandS Inc. have agreed to settle all of the insulation contractor firm's current and future asbestos-related claims against Travelers. Under the settlement, Travelers will contribute $449 million to a trust to be established following ACandS' reorganization. Travelers said it expects to obtain about $84 million from its reinsurers. It will fund the remaining $365 million from existing reserves.

Validus IPO expected to raise over $300M

Validus Holdings Ltd. has launched an initial public offering in which it expects to raise more than $300 million. In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Validus said it will offer 15.7 million common shares, with an option for underwriters of the offering to purchase up to 2.3 million additional common shares. Validus said the offer could raise as much as $346.6 million, based upon an assumed IPO price of $25 per share. Proceeds will be used toward, among other things, funding the company's recent purchase of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Talbot Holdings Ltd. and capitalizing Validus Reinsurance Ltd.

Neb. retaliation ruling curbs comp demotions

Nebraska's Supreme Court extended the state's prohibition against the retaliatory firing of workers compensation claimants to include the banning of retaliatory demotions. The ruling in Kimberlee Trosper vs. Bag 'N Save stems from a case filed by a deli manager who was demoted and had her salary slashed from $30,100 to $22,500 after reporting an injury that required medical treatment. After Ms. Trosper sued for retaliation, Bag 'N Save argued a public policy exception to state law allowing employers to fire at-will employees at any time should remain limited to discharges.

AARP to seek review of retiree benefits ruling

The AARP will seek a full 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals review of a three-judge panel's June ruling that that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may implement a rule to exempt retiree health plans from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act when those plans reduce benefits to retired workers once they are eligible for Medicare. Laurie McCann, a senior attorney with the AARP in Washington, said the organization will file its petition for review of the unanimous decision in the so-called Erie County case by the July 19 deadline. Legal experts say such reviews are unlikely when a decision handed down by a panel of an appeals court is unanimous.

Aspen to underwrite professional liability

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. will begin writing professional liability risks effective in September. Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen will underwrite the new business--which will consist mainly of indemnity-based coverage for professional firms--through its U.K. offices. Aspen plans to target midsize and large firms in the United Kingdom and Australia, and expects to write $100 million in gross written premiums within three years, according to a company statement.

Fla. allows work leave for domestic violence

Victims of domestic violence can take up to three days' leave from work under a law that went into effect July 1 in Florida. The law permits employees to take the leave in any 12-month period to take action in response to becoming a domestic violence victim, such as obtaining an injunction for protection, medical care or mental health counseling. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees and to employees at the job three or more months. Before receiving the leave, the employee must exhaust all annual or vacation, personal and sick leave unless the employer waives the requirement, the law says. The leave may be with or without pay, at the employer's discretion.

U.K. flooding claims may top $3 billion

Claims from severe flooding in parts of England late last month could top £1.5 billion ($3.01 billion), according to the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. London-based CILA said claims from commercial policyholders totaled about £680 million ($1.37 billion), while personal lines claims were about £825 million ($1.66 billion). CILA said there had been about 6,800 claims from businesses, averaging £1,000 ($1,475) each. There have been approximately 27,500 personal lines claims.


Rates for all lines of commercial property/casualty insurance continued to decline in June, with an overall average decline of 14% compared with a year earlier, Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout said....Marsh Inc. General Counsel Richard J. Sullivan has received U.S. Senate confirmation of his nomination as a district judge on the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. Mr. Sullivan will leave his Marsh post later this summer, a spokesman said. No replacement has been named.