In re Asbestos Insurance Bad Faith Cases

The plaintiffs sought to represent a class in a number of cases consolidated pursuant to the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel rules. They contended that asbestos personal injury claims had been unfairly investigated and settled by numerous insurers in violation of that state's Unfair Trade Practices Act.  In discovery defendants presented evidence that many of the claims were of questionable validity, and defendants' experts on the class certification issue testified that individual facts surrounding those issues predominated over facts pertinent to the alleged class. Plaintiffs agreed to settle shortly before the class certification hearing.