In a Reinsurance Dispute Involving Asbestos Contamination, Reinsurer Filed Counterclaims Against Insurer for Misrepresentation

Utica Insurance Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. (Northern District of New York, November 2, 2009)

This action stems from several underlying actions regarding umbrella policies Utica issued between 1966 through 1972.  In order to reduce its risk, Utica purchased reinsurance from the Fireman's Fund among other reinsurers.  Utica's insured filed several asbestos-related claims under its umbrella policies which resulted in Utica paying close to 25 million dollars in settlements.  According to the pleadings, Utica provided the Fireman's Fund with all the expenses and billing information it needed to make the proper payment under its reinsurance policy it issued to Utica.

When the Fireman's Fund refused, Utica filed a declaratory judgment proceeding in the Northern District of New York.  Today, Fireman's Fund asserted several counterclaims alleging that Utica concealed relevant information to induce the Fireman's Fund to issue reinsurance certificates.  As a result, Fireman's Fund seeks a rescission of the policies due to this material misrepresentation.

A copy of the Fireman's Fund Answer with Counterclaims is available here

Jeffrey Kingsley

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