Missoulian by Rob Chaney
Libby, MT – In a textbook example of the importance of fine print, the state of Montana and its former insurance company have asked the state Supreme Court to decide who’s liable for almost $100 million in damages due to Libby asbestos victims. The state won a district court lawsuit in 2018 when the judge ruled National Indemnity Co. was responsible for the full settlement, even though it only had the state as a client from July 1, 1973, to July 1, 1975. The settlement involved claims from Libby residents who weren’t warned about the health dangers of asbestos exposure from W.R. Grace and Co.’s vermiculite mine between the 1950s and 1980s. When the district court ruled, the settlement amount was estimated to be $43 million to more than 200 victims. Click here for the full text.