Professor William Jacobson, over at LegalInsurrection.com continues to do yeoman’s work regarding the real Elizabeth Warren. Today he just punched a large hole in Warren’s claims to not have known Traveler’s full intentions when hiring her. Jacobson uses source documents to show that the only explanation is that Warren turned a willful blind eye, or is misleading us all now.
Warren played a role at a critical time in what ended up as one of the great coups in legal history, the enforcement of settlement agreements by which Travelers promised a massive settlement fund for asbestos victims, but which Travelers didn’t actually have to pay because a precondition to payment had not been met.
The precondition was that other insurers give up their claims against Travelers, without receiving any payment from Travelers. If the other insurers were not bound by the settlement, then Travelers did not have to pay the asbestos victims.
Thus, the asbestos victim fund was held hostage to whether Travelers could strip other insurers of their claims. By the time the case reached the Supreme Court the possibility, if not probabilty, that Travelers would not succeed in this inter-corporate fight – and that it would not have to pay the asbestos victims – was well known.
Warren was not working to help asbestos victims, except ancillary to Travelers fight against other insurers. Travelers ended up losing the fight with other insurers, which gave Travelers a contractual right not to make payment.
This outcome, even if unintended, was foreseeable at the time of Warren’s legal representation of Travelers. Warren got paid, Travelers got to keep its settlement money, and the asbestos workers were left out in the cold.