Kotula and Tugander Victorious in Asbestos Insurance Coverage Dispute

October 4, 2016 | Insurance Coverage

The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York awarded our clients, Unigard Insurance Company and QBE Americas, Inc., full summary judgment in an asbestos insurance coverage dispute, finding that Troy Belting had failed to meet its burden of proving the terms and conditions of 25 years’ worth of allegedly missing primary insurance policies.  In Pacific Employers Ins. Co. v. Troy Belting & Supply Co., Case No. 1:11-cv-912, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134224 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2016), Troy Belting asserted that a Unigard predecessor entity, Jamestown Mutual Insurance Company, had issued primary CGL policies from 1949 through 1974, which it claimed obligated Unigard and/or QBE to defend and indemnify it in numerous asbestos bodily injury actions and to pay a significant share of past costs.  The Court recognized that no party had a copy of any of the alleged policies and that Troy Belting had “not produced sufficient evidence by which a jury could find the terms and conditions of the policy by the preponderance of the evidence.”  Specifically, the Court held that Troy Belting’s attempts to prove the terms of the alleged policies with the testimony of expert witnesses failed because “their opinions on the terms and conditions of the policy are simply speculative, not grounded in any facts.”  Accordingly, the Court granted Unigard and QBE’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims against them with prejudice.

The read the full decision, Click Here.

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