Travelers Insurance Company Settlement
Galiher DeRobertis Ono Uncovers Massive Fraud
While representing our clients, the law firm of Galiher DeRobertis Ono uncovered fraud committed by Combustion Engineering, Inc. (“Combustion Engineering”), a named defendant in hundreds of Hawaii asbestos lawsuits and in lawsuits around the country. Combustion Engineering has since gone into bankruptcy.
Travelers Insurance Company (“Travelers”) insured many asbestos defendants, including Combustion Engineering. Travelers and its local and national counsel also helped Combustion Engineering commit fraud in order to avoid its obligation to compensate hundreds of Hawaii residents who were exposed to asbestos while working on Combustion Engineering products. With Travelers’ help, Combustion Engineering swore under penalty of perjury that Combustion Engineering did not sell asbestos products in Hawaii including any used at Pearl Harbor.
Galiher’s Tenacity Pays Off
Attorney Gary Galiher worked tirelessly to uncover evidence that Combustion Engineering had, in fact, sold its products in Hawaii. Gary discovered company records which proved that Combustion Engineering was well aware that it had sold asbestos products in Hawaii, and had deliberately concealed that information. As a result, Galiher DeRobertis Ono filed a lawsuit against Combustion Engineering and Travelers for fraudulent misrepresentation and suppression of evidence that Combustion Engineering products were in fact sold in Hawaii and found at Pearl Harbor.
Court Ruled Galiher Could See Key Documents
Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo, the Hawaii State Asbestos judge who recently retired at the end of 2009, presided over various motions against Combustion Engineering. Combustion Engineering claimed that some of its documents were privileged and that the plaintiffs should not be allowed to see them or use them in their case. Judge Hifo viewed these documents herself and then ruled in favor of the plaintiffs by allowing them to see key documents.
Combustion Engineering declared bankruptcy several years ago. However, Plaintiffs were able to reach a settlement with Travelers Insurance Company to compensate the Hawaii plaintiffs for Travelers’ role in Combustion Engineering’s discovery fraud.
Status of Travelers Insurance Settlement
After many appeals, the Travelers settlement is still unfunded, and it could take a year or more before these appeals are completed. However, if the settlement is approved, there will be an aggregate settlement fund of up to $15 million for qualified claimants. Qualified claimants are plaintiffs who had an asbestos lawsuit filed in the state of Hawaii and who settled with Combustion Engineering before 2001 based on the fraudulent misrepresentation that this defendant did not sell asbestos in Hawaii especially at Pearl Harbor.