Cigarette Manufacturer Sues Insurance Companies

February 7, 2000

Cigarette maker Liggett Group is suing its insurance companies in an effort to force them to pay lawyer fees, settlement costs, damage awards and other expenses from smoking-related lawsuits.

Liggett, a unit of Brooke Group Ltd., filed suit against about 30 insurers in state court in Wilmington, Del., in January, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The company asked the court to rule that its litigation costs and legal liabilities are covered by its insurance policies.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., one of the 30 insurers, filed a lawsuit asking a Connecticut state judge to rule that Liggett’s tobacco-related legal liabilities aren’t covered by its policies. A spokeswoman for The Hartford said that tobacco-related health claims are specifically excluded from the policies it sold to Liggett.

Liggett is one of five defendants in a large class-action suit now being tried in Miami.

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