In a ruling issued January 4, 2002, Judge Sarah S. Vance
of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted Babcock & Wilcox (4BW.F)
's and McDermott International, Inc.'s (NYSE: MDR) motions for summary judgement against a group of London underwriters and dismissed the declaratory judgment action filed by the insurers. The underwriters had sought to annul an agreement which acknowledges coverage for B&W's asbestos exposure and sets forth the agreements of the insurers to pay claims within that coverage.
In her ruling, Judge Vance concluded that the underwriters' claims lacked a factual or legal basis. The agreement with the underwriters went into effect in April 1990, and over the years, has served as the allocation and payment mechanism to resolve many of the asbestos claims against B&W.
"This ruling reflects the extent of the underwriters' contractual obligations and underscores that this coverage is available to settle B&W's asbestos claims," said Bruce Wilkinson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of McDermott.