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Travelers Property to Settle Asbestos Class Actions

The deal comes a week after the company was sold.

Travelers Property Casualty


said it has agreed in principle to settle all pending class-action asbestos lawsuits against the firm.

The Hartford company did not disclose terms but said it will fund the settlement from its unallocated asbestos reserves and doesn't expect to take a charge against earnings.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval and the negotiation of a definitive agreement, would fully resolve all current and future asbestos-related actions against the company, Travelers said. A similar lawsuit in Hawaii would be dismissed with prejudice.

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"I'm pleased with the progress we continue to make in reducing our asbestos-related exposures," said chairman and chief executive officer Robert Lipp. "This settlement is consistent with our long history of seeking early favorable resolution of asbestos disputes."

Claimants alleged that the company violated state insurance unfair claim and trade practice statutes while handling asbestos claims, the firm said. The settlement does not relate to so-called common-law asbestos-related direct actions against Travelers, which allege a general non-statutory duty to disclose to the public the hazards of asbestos.

On Monday,

St. Paul Cos.


agreed to buy Travelers for $16.4 billion in stock, creating the second largest commercial property insurer in the country.