Sunday, October 20, 2013

Asbestos-related cancer victims allege compensation stalling by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Resolute and National Indemnity to increase profits; Ford, Estee Lauder are mad too — and they're suing

Scripps investigative reporter Mark Greenblatt reveals that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., of Omaha, Neb., is now a foremost global titan in asbestos and pollution litigation.
Scripps interviewed more than 20 sources — some confidential — reviewed dozens of lawsuits and spoke with former insiders, who all allege the Berkshire-owned companies that handle its asbestos and pollution policies — National Indemnity Co. and Resolute Management Inc. — wrongfully delay or deny compensation to cancer victims and others to boost Berkshire's profits. In multiple cases, courts and arbitrators have ruled that the Berkshire subsidiaries' tactics have been in "bad faith" or intentional.

Through 25 known deals, insurers like American Insurance Group, CNA Financial Corp. and Lloyd's of London have paid Berkshire to assume their risk for tens of billions of dollars in future asbestos and pollution claims.
It's not just asbestos cancer victims that are mad: dozens of large corporations are also livid. Ford, Estee Lauder, and other companies whose commercial policies were bought from or sold to Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries are now suing for reimbursement of fines, legal fees and payments of injury claims.

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