ExxonMobil suing insurers over asbestos litigation costs

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Feb 28, 2012

ExxonMobil headquarters in Irving

MANHATTAN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - ExxonMobil Corp. is suing dozens of insurers, including Lloyd's of London, in a New York state court to get back money it spent in asbestos litigation.

The oil company filed its 28-page complaint in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan Wednesday.

At issue is the coverage provided by the insurers' policies for thousands of claims and lawsuits brought against ExxonMobil, alleging injuries, sickeness, disease or wrongful death caused in whole or in part by exposure to asbestos.

The company argues that the defendant insurers have either failed to respond or reserved their rights to disclaim coverage for the asbestos claims, and that they have failed or refused to acknowledge their "contractual obligations" to indemnify ExxonMobil.

In doing so, they owe the company money for defense costs, damage awards, judgments and settlements, ExxonMobil contends.

According to ExxonMobil's complaint, claims by thousands of plaintiffs have been settled or otherwise disposed of, but thousands more remain pending against the company and it expects "many more" to be filed in the future.

ExxonMobil, which is based in Irving, Texas, is requesting a declaratory judgment.

The law firm of Covington and Burling LLP, which has offices in New York, Washington and San Francisco, is representing the company in the lawsuit.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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