Appeals Court Orders Insurance Company to Pay Mesothelioma Claim

For decades, manufacturers have been aware that asbestos is carcinogenic and causes diseases like malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis, yet they continued exposing people to the dangerous material. Compensating victims for these illnesses has cost both the companies and their insurers billions of dollars. Though insurance company Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty tried to evade responsibility for a recent claim, a South Carolina court determined that they were required to participate in compensating a man who blamed his illness on the insurer’s client.

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Mesothelioma Victim Exposed to Asbestos on Stepfather’s Clothing

The original claim was filed by David Rollins, who blamed his malignant mesothelioma on exposure to asbestos brought home on his stepfather’s clothing. Rollins’ stepfather had worked at the Bowater Paper Mill, where Covil Corporation’s asbestos-contaminated thermal insulation and building materials had been installed. Rollins filed suit against Covil seeking compensation for his illness.

As is true in many mesothelioma claims, a court ordered mediation between Mr. Rollins and Covil, and Covil required that their insurance company attend the meeting. But after a confidential agreement was reached between the asbestos company and the victim, the insurer refused to participate in or to contribute $50,000 to the settlement. Covil then filed suit against their own insurer, which argued that an exclusion cause protected them from liability for their insured’s claim.

South Carolina Court of Appeals Agrees that Mesothelioma Claim Requires Coverage

In reviewing the insurer’s argument, the South Carolina Court of Appeals determined that the circumstances leading to Mr. Rollins’ mesothelioma did not fall under the Completed Operations Hazard Exclusion, which excludes bodily injury caused other than by the product or completed work itself. Because neither applied and Mr. Rollins was exposed to asbestos during the period of the contract coverage, the insurer was required to provide compensation for damage caused by their client’s product.

Pursuing compensation for malignant mesothelioma is a complicated process that requires significant knowledge and experience. To learn how the Patient Advocates at can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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