On January 5, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to hold a full-court rehearing to reconsider a panel's July ruling that Travelers must honor settlement agreements from 2003 and 2004 related to Manville's asbestos liability.
Goldberg Kohn principal Ronald Barliant represents approximately 1,600 claimants.
The dispute traces back to the mid-1980s, when Manville, a former leading manufacturer of asbestos-based products, sought Chapter 11 protection. Alleged victims later sued Travelers directly, claiming the insurer had an independent duty to warn about the dangers of asbestos. Travelers settled those actions, agreeing in 2003 and 2004 to pay up to $445 million in three funds separate from the original Manville bankruptcy trust.
In 2012, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan had relieved Travelers from paying into the direct action settlement funds after finding that certain conditions in the agreements weren't met. But in 2014 the Second Circuit reversed Koeltl, putting Travelers back on the hook for the $445 million plus $65 million in interest.