Skip to Navigation
The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Asbestos Lawsuit Flares Anew Against ACE Units

May 15, 2012 - A long legal tiff over insurance claims for asbestos product liability suits has ended up in court again with a lawsuit pitting beauty care products maker Conair against ACE Property & Casualty Co. and sister company Insurance Co. of North America.

Conair had originally sued ACE, INA and five other insurers in 2002, asking that they be held liable to provide coverage to the plaintiff against asbestos product liability suits it was fighting. Trial on the suit was held in California Supreme Court in 2006, and in a statement of decision issued by Judge Julie Tang, she laid out rules for them to follow in defending Conair or paying damages.

One of the issues dealt with ACE and INA’s duty to defend and indemnify.

Conair contended that language of the insurers’ policies provided complete coverage to the client up to policy limits under California’s “all sums’ law. The judge determined that ACE and INA had a duty to defend Conair in full against the lawsuits.

ACE had sold Conair a three-year policy, with annual policy limits of $500,000. That, the plaintiff said, entitled it to $1.5 million in coverage. But now ACE is asserting that only one limit of coverage is applicable to the asbestos products liability lawsuit, or $500,000 in total coverage available to Conair.

Conair’s suit, filed in California Superior Court, San Francisco County, asked the court to declare it as eligible for three annual limits of coverage and thus the higher payout amount.

Conair also asked the court to declare once again that California law prevails over the case. That issue arose after another insurer, First State Insurance Co., told New Jersey-based Conair that New Jersey law, not California law, governs the company’s claims.

Like us on facebook!

Please note that article images are for illustrative purposes only. Images do not necessarily depict the actual facts, events, or people discussed in this story.