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TWIN CITY FIRE INS. CO. v. PITTSBURGH CORNING CORP

August 26, 1992

TWIN CITY FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff
v.
PITTSBURGH CORNING CORPORATION, Defendant


Mencer


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GLENN E. MENCER

ADJUDICATION

The above-captioned case having been tried non-jury, we make the following

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiff, Twin City Fire Insurance Company (hereinafter "Twin City"), is a corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the State of Indiana, which maintains its principal place of business in Connecticut.

 2. Defendant, Pittsburgh Corning Corporation (hereinafter "Pittsburgh Corning"), maintains its principal place of business at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 3. Twin City, in the course of its business as an insurer, issued to Pittsburgh Corning the following two excess umbrella liability insurance policies: Policy No. Policy Period Coverage Limits Gross Premium TXU105918 1/1/83-1/1/84 $ 10 million excess of $ 1 million underlying primary $ 8,600 98TXU110876 1/1/84-1/1/85 $ 10 million excess of $ 1 million underlying primary $ 8,950

 4. From approximately 1962 until 1972, Pittsburgh Corning manufactured asbestos-containing thermal insulation products sold under the name or mark "Unibestos," and claims have been asserted and lawsuits commenced against Pittsburgh Corning by third parties for alleged personal injury and property damage.

 5. For many years Pittsburgh Corning has purchased and maintained programs of insurance coverage which included various primary and excess liability insurance coverages, which have been provided by numerous insurers.

 6. As a result of the increasing awareness of the liability exposure of Pittsburgh Corning for claims allegedly arising from the Unibestos asbestos-containing thermal insulation products sold by Pittsburgh Corning, beginning no later than July 1, 1980, all primary comprehensive general liability insurers of Pittsburgh Corning have issued policies of insurance to Pittsburgh Corning which have excluded property damage claims relating to asbestos risks or hazards.

 7. The Twin City policy numbered TXU105918 (effective January 1, 1983) was intended to provide the same excess liability insurance coverage as had the comparable Old Republic Insurance Company policy numbered ORZU4656 which immediately preceded it. The Old Republic policy specifically excluded coverage for the asbestos property damage hazard or risk. Both the Old Republic Insurance Company policy numbered ORZU4656 and the Twin City policy numbered TXU105918 were issued for the identical annual premium of $ 8,600.

 8. During the two Twin City policy years, the underlying primary insurance policies issued by Hartford Insurance Company, of which Twin City is an affiliate, contained endorsements which excluded the asbestos property damage hazard or risk.

 9. The Twin City policies were issued by Baccala & Shoop, a "managing general agent" of Twin City. William Trumbower, a vice-president of Baccala & Shoop and the manager of its Philadelphia branch office, was responsible for underwriting and issuing the Twin City policies on behalf of Twin City.

 10. The person at Pittsburgh Corning responsible for purchasing the Twin City policies was John Rusnak, who, at the time the policies were issued, was Pittsburgh Corning's Manager of Credit and Finance. The policies were purchased by Pittsburgh Corning through Johnson & Higgins, an insurance broker. Richard Zappa was the Johnson & Higgins representative involved in the placement of the insurance.

 11. In order to obtain the necessary umbrella coverage for Pittsburgh Corning, Mr. Zappa sought the assistance of a "wholesale broker," a secondary broker engaged by the primary broker for obtaining coverage. Johnson & Higgins engaged Bryson Associates whose employee, Maureen Caviston, arranged for the Twin City coverage at issue here.

 12. Both of the Twin City policies contain an exclusion for asbestos-related bodily injury claims. The exclusion is attached to each policy by way of an endorsement and states as follows: "It is agreed that the insurance provided by this policy does not apply to bodily injury liability for any and all injuries from the inhalation and/or ingestion of asbestos fibers or asbestos dust."

 14. After his clerical staff prepared the policies, pursuant to Mr. Trumbower's directions, the policies were returned to Mr. Trumbower in final form for him to review before they were issued. This review was performed by Mr. Trumbower on two separate occasions, once for the 1983-84 policy and later for the 1984-85 policy. When the policies and their endorsements were returned to Mr. Trumbower, the exclusion for ...


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