Insurer The St. Paul Cos. has indicated it would pay close to $1 billion, before tax and reinsurance recoveries, to settle litigation regarding asbestos coverage for building products firm Western MacArthur, which a St. Paul unit insured more than four decades ago.
“This settlement is an important and prudent step toward putting our only known material asbestos exposure behind us,” Jay Fishman, Chairman and Chief Executive of The St. Paul Cos., commented in a company release. “While it will have a short-term impact on our earnings, it in no way affects our fundamental long-term positioning, which continues to be very solid given the momentum in our businesses.”
As a result of the settlement, the Minnesota-based company noted that it would trim earnings by nearly $380 million following tax and recovering insurance coverage from other firms.
As part of its reorganization plan, The St. Paul Cos., whose USF&G Co. unit insured Western Asbestos from the late 40s up to 1960, will pay money into a trust that will compensate victims of diseases caused by asbestos distributed or installed by the company.
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