From the Associated Press
From the Los Angeles Times, July 7, 2007, Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times
ST. PAUL, MINN. — Travelers Cos. said Friday that it would settle one of its largest asbestos cases for $449 million.
The St. Paul-based commercial insurer settled the case with ACandS Inc., which installed insulation with asbestos from 1958 to 1974 and was insured by Travelers.
Travelers said it would pay $365 million of the settlement and reinsurers would cover $84 million.
Travelers said its portion would come from its asbestos reserves without hurting earnings.
The settlement comes after a federal appeals court reinstated an ACandS lawsuit in January 2006 over what limits apply to its coverage.
The lawsuit claimed that Travelers was liable for 45% of the $2.8 billion that Lancaster, Pa.-based ACandS paid to settle asbestos-related claims.
Travelers had $4.47 billion set aside for asbestos and environmental claims at the end of 2006.
"ACandS has been one of our most significant and longest-standing asbestos exposures," said Jay S. Fishman, chief executive of Travelers.
"Eliminating the uncertainty inherent in this litigation makes this a very good outcome for our company and our shareholders."
Travelers shares rose 10 cents to $54.52 on Friday.