Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Pacific NW

Montana judge: Insurer liable in $43M asbestos settlement

Associated Press

BILLINGS – A Montana judge says a Nebraska-based insurance company is liable for a $43 million settlement between the state and people sickened by exposure to asbestos from a Libby vermiculite mine.

National Indemnity Co. paid $16 million toward the 2009 settlement but later sued to recover the money.

State District Judge Holly Brown said in ruling last week that the insurance company breached its duty to defend the state against damage claims by asbestos victims.

Brown said because of that breach the company could not deny coverage for the settlement.

Montana Department of Administration spokeswoman Amber Conger said Tuesday that the state was pleased with the judge’s ruling, but declined further comment because the case is ongoing.

National Indemnity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.