Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. faces approximately 62,000 claims involving asbestos-related injuries in New York, Maryland, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. The claims allege exposure to asbestos through the tire company’s products, including floor tiles, gaskets and furnace hoses, according to Law360. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. filed a petition in federal court Wednesday to declare it has no duty to pay defense costs, though Goodyear says otherwise due to an insurance policy.
“[Berkshire] contends it has no such obligation for some or all of the underlying claims,” the lawsuit says, according to the news source. “Alternatively, if [Berkshire] is found to have any such obligation, [Berkshire] contends that this obligation is limited pursuant to the terms, conditions, and exclusions set forth or incorporated within the Stonewall Policy.”
Goodyear claims Berkshire, previously called Stonewall Insurance Co., must pay its share of defense costs after the tire company exhausted the applicable limits under its policy. The reimbursement for claims would total millions of dollars. However, Berkshire counters that the company has not yet exceeded its policy’s applicable limits and does not owe Goodyear any money prior to November 2015, countering Goodyear’s claim it is owed money dating back to 2008. The policy at issue has a $1 million per occurrence limit.
Asbestos, a group of six silicate minerals, was once used in a variety of construction and manufacturing processes, but is now known to be a human carcinogen linked to the development of several cancers, including deadly mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart, lungs and abdomen.