The United States Supreme Court Applies Equitable Principles in Favor of Insurers in Enforcing Settlement Trust Order by Bankruptcy Court of Questionable Jurisdiction

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The Supreme Court in Travelers Indemnity Company v. Bailey, 57 U.S. ___ (2009) last week reversed a Second Circuit opinion that could have caused insurance companies concerns when contributing to a settlement fund to resolve mass tort claims in Bankruptcy Court.

More than 20 years ago, in 1986, a federal bankruptcy court issued an order that discharged one of the largest producers of products containing asbestos, Johns-Manville Corporation, and each of its insurers from all future tort liability arising under the company’s indemnity policies. Johns-Manville’s primary indemnity insurer, Travelers, deposited $80 million (the full value of their policies) into a settlement trust for all potential claimants, which was intended to cut-off all of Travelers’ future liability due to relationship with the company.

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Published In: Bankruptcy Updates, Civil Procedure Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, Insurance Updates, Products Liability Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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