CSR Limited, a large Australian building products manufacturer, has reached a settlement of asbestos litigation with a group of 48 Australian, United Kingdom and European insurers. Under the terms of the settlement each of the settling insurers is obliged to pay its share of a settlement totaling approximately A$103.3 million on or before 10 June 2006.
The insurers were among a number of insurers sued by CSR in the New Jersey beginning in 1995. CSR has been seeking indemnity for U.S. asbestos claims under policies issued to CSR from approximately 1978 to 1989 together with other damages and relief.
CSR said it is continuing action against those insurers that have not yet settled. It identified these insurers to include ACE Insurance Limited and certain of its affiliates, which together were the primary and excess insurers of CSR and the lead insurer on many of the policies at issue in the proceedings.
CSR’s CEO and Managing Director Alec Brennan noted that this is one of the several asbestos settlements for the company. “Since commencing this litigation in 1995 we have achieved settlements with 55 insurers and, while litigation is inherently uncertain, we are confident of our litigation position against the ACE defendants,” he said.
The settlement net of litigation costs is approximately $93 million and will be recorded as a significant item in CSR’s results for the year ending 31 March 2006.
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