WTC Insurer Says Asbestos Money’s Gone

     MANHATTAN (CN) – American Home Assurance, which issued the original general liability policy for construction of the World Trade Centers, claims in court that it has no obligation to defend or indemnify any more asbestos claims from the site because its policy had a limit of $10 million per occurrence.



     In its claim in New York County Court, American Home Assurance says it issued an insurance policy to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1966 for construction of the towers that were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
     American Home claims that September 1969 to April 1970 co-defendant Mario & Dibono Plastering Co. applied asbestos-containing insulation on the exterior columns and beams of the first 39 floors of Tower One of the WTC, and possibly elsewhere at the site.
     Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Port Authority, DiBono and other defendants in the present complaint, including Alcoa, and Tishman Realty & Construction Co. (the construction manager for the project) “have been subject to thousands of asbestos-related personal injury claims allegedly arising from exposure to asbestos at the WTC site,” the complaint states.
     “In general, subject to all its terms, conditions and exclusions, the policy includes a $10 million per occurrence limit for WTC asbestos claims. To date, American Home has paid in excess of $10 million to indemnify insureds in response to WTC asbestos claims. It obligations, if any, are exhausted and no coverage is available under the policy for pending WTC asbestos claims,” the insurer says.
     American Home seeks declaratory relief, and wants to recoup uncovered defense and indemnity payments it already has made in excess of obligations under the policy.
     It is represented by Mary Beth Forshaw with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.

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