Appellate court rules on insurance coverage case

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a group of insurance companies that argued a waste management company couldn’t seek coverage for asbestos and related worker injuries under policies signed by corporate predecessors before 1986.

In Continental Insurance Co., National Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford, Continental Casualty Co., and Columbia Casualty Co. v. Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., and Waste Management Holdings, Inc., No. 49A02-1010-PL-1110, the appellate court reversed a ruling by Marion Superior Judge Ted Sosin and found in favor of the insurance companies.

The case involved pre-1986 coverage that involved Allied Signal – now Honeywell International – selling assets and liability to the predecessor of Waste Management, when the insurance companies issued occurrence-based insurance policies to Honeywell’s predecessor. Since then, Waste Management has been sued by claimants on allegations that they suffered from asbestos and other related injuries while working in a building housing a filtration process.

Sosin ruled that Waste Management could seek coverage from the insurers whose predecessors had issued liability policies back in 1986, but the appellate court disagreed.

Relying on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in Casualty and Surety Co., et al. v. United States Filter Corp., 895 N.E.2d 1172 (Ind. 2008) which involved similar issues and parties, the Court of Appeals found in favor of the insurers.

No insurance coverage rights transferred to Waste Management by virtue of the 1986 agreements signed by all the predecessors when new agreements were signed in 2009, the appellate court’s majority found using the U.S. Filter rationale. Honeywell was no longer liable for the claims on the date it entered into the agreements in 2009, and Judge Paul Mathias wrote that Waste Management hasn’t directed the court to any evidence or argument that would warrant a different result.

Judge James Kirsch dissented without a separate opinion, and the case is remanded.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon