W.R. Grace Estimates Asbestos Lawsuits Could Cost Nearly $1 Billion
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ W.R. Grace & Co. may have to pay nearly $1 billion to settle asbestos exposure lawsuits, but its insurance would cover those costs, the speciality chemicals company said.
Grace, in its annual report, listed $358 million in payments to date and estimated a potential cost of $985 million on 53,000 claims, but the company expects to absorb very little of the expense.
″At the end of the day, I expect that all we’ll have to eat is several million dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for lawyers in the insurance cases,″ general counsel Robert Beber said Wednesday.
Grace and eight other asbestos producers are defendants in a host of class- action suits filed by schools and companies over the cost of removing the insulating materials. Individual suits also blame the companies for asbestos- caused illnesses.
Grace said it does not expect the lawsuits to have any material effect on its financial health.