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Mixed ruling in asbestos dispute involving AIG, CNA, Zurich

Posted On: Jan. 2, 2019 2:43 PM CST

Mixed ruling in asbestos dispute involving AIG, CNA, Zurich

A federal court issued a mixed ruling in complex asbestos litigation involving units of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., CNA Financial Corp. and American International Group Inc.

St. Albans, West Virginia-based Ohio Valley Insulating Co. was a contract insulation installer and distributor and seller of insulation products in Pennsylvania and other states, and certain of its insulation products contained asbestos, according to the complaint in Ohio Valley Insulating Co. Inc. v. Maryland Casualty Co.

Ohio Valley filed suit against its insurer, Zurich unit Maryland Casualty, in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh in 2016 seeking defense and indemnity coverage in connection with the asbestos-containing materials it allegedly dealt with, according to the complaint.

In its Dec. 27 ruling, the District Court held that each site where Ohio Valley conduced its operations constituted a separate “occurrence.” The ruling impacts Zurich, AIG and CNA policies, according to the ruling.

The ruling also states, however, that the policies “differentiate between claims that fall under the ‘products’ and the ‘completed operations’ hazards, and claims that fall outside those hazards — i.e. ‘operations’ claims.”

The ruling said the court “finds that the aggregate limits associated with the ‘completed operations’ hazard are applicable,” granting the insurers’ cross motion for summary judgment on this issue.

A.M. Best Co. Inc. said in a report in November that neither asbestos nor environmental claims show signs of slowing down.