Insurers Sue to Stop Halliburton Bankruptcy

December 24, 2003

Halliburton Company’s plan to send several of its subsidiaries into bankruptcy as part of a $4.17 billion settlement of all current and future asbestos claims won’t happen if a lawsuit by more than 20 insurance companies is successful.

Halliburton filed a pre-negotiated bankruptcy petition on Dec. 16 in Pittsburgh for Kellogg, Brown & Root Inc., DII Industries LLC and six other subsidiaries in an effort to settle about 400,000 asbestos and 21,000 silica claims.

According to an Associated Press report, the insurers want a bankruptcy judge to reject the company’s Chapter 11 filings. The insurers claim in a court filing that the Houston-based oil services and construction conglomerate secured approval from more than 90 percent of the claimants for the bankruptcy filing by agreeing to pay much more per claim than past asbestos settlements.

The insurers assert they will have to pay a large portion of the bill for the settlement, which they say equates to $7,000 per claim on average. They insist that, historically, per-claim settlements in asbestos cases run about $920.

Halliburton itself will reportedly pay about $2.78 billion in cash to settle the claims.

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