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Insurer Files Suit against Montana State over Asbestos Deal

Nebraska – An Omaha-based insurance firm is suing the Montana state for recovering $16 million, which was initially used to cover an extensive settlement of asbestos-linked claims from tenants of the Libby Superfund town.

The litigation filed by the National Indemnity Co. is asking for a court order to return any settlement payments which fell outside the insurance policy of the state.

Majority of the funds from National Indemnity went to a September 2010 deal for $43 million with above one thousand victims of asbestos. The plaintiffs in those cases argued the state was aware for decades that asbestos fibers and dust from a vermiculite mine operated by W.R. Grace was creating public health issues, but didn’t act.

Estimates say approximately 400 people were killed and 1,750 made sick in the Libby area.