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GE to Pay $115M in Asbestos Lawsuits

GE to Pay $115M in Asbestos Lawsuits
GE to Pay $115M in Asbestos Lawsuits

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

General Electric Co. said that it will have to spend an additional $115 million to pay for asbestos lawsuits after an unsuccessful decade-long battle in which it tried to get its insurers to foot part of the bill.

The New York State Court of Appeals upheld the previous ruling by a lower court which prevents GE from demanding secondary insurance to cover claims brought against it by individuals who have been sickened as a result of asbestos-insulated turbines.

GE has already paid more than $500 million in its settlements of asbestos cases. GE said it still has 509,000 asbestos claims pending against it through 2006.

The Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, GE was trying to make the case that its asbestos claims should be treated as one incident.

This was an attempt to take advantage of the extra coverage awarded to GE by its insurance companies for claims over $5 million. After the first $5 million, GE would be able to access more than $2 billion in coverage.

Few cases were over $5 million mark individually, but if the cases were considered one occurrence, the amount would exceed $5 million by a vast margin, allowing it to tap into the extra insurance.

But the court ruled that each individual case was its own occurrence.

“GE was attempting to change a long-standing New York law on how the number of occurrences is decided in this context,” said Michael Balch an attorney for one of GE’s insurance companies.

He said GE was trying to get the court to consider as a single occurrence “400,000 plus cases arising at thousands of sites across the country dating back 70 to 80 years.”

Harmed by Asbestos?

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, sickened, or killed as a result of exposure to asbestos, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation with an experienced asbestos exposure attorney who can examine your situation thoroughly, answer your questions, and help you plan the best course of action to recover the compensation you and your family may be eligible for.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 am.

GE to Pay $115M in Asbestos Lawsuits

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