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Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Foster Wheeler Corp.
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
822 N.Y.S.2d 30 (2006)
Certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and other insurers (plaintiffs) sued for a declaratory judgment apportioning their responsibilities for paying asbestos-related claims filed against Foster Wheeler Corporation (defendant), an asbestos manufacturer. Claims had already been settled for policies issued prior to 1962, but thousands of as-yet unsettled claims were issued after 1962, when Foster Wheeler moved its principal place of business from New York to New Jersey. Foster Wheeler remained incorporated in New York. Most of the policies in question were negotiated, signed, and returned to brokers located in New York, but the policies and premium payments were processed in New Jersey, where Foster Wheeler generally met with its brokers. Moreover, as a New Jersey business, Foster Wheeler could draw on that state’s insurance-guarantee fund for payment of claims against insolvent insurers. Whether New York or New Jersey law applied to the case was a key question because the two states employed very different statutory schemes for apportioning multiple insurers’ liabilities. The trial-level New York Supreme Court ruled that New York law governed the case and granted partial summary judgment for the insurers. Foster Wheeler appealed to the court’s appellate division.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Friedman, J.)
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