Natrona County School District Pays $230,000 for Asbestos Litigation

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The Natrona County School District board of trustees on Monday allocated $230,000 to settle pending asbestos litigation involving an exposure at Kelly Walsh High School, according to the board’s agenda.

The details of the litigation are unclear.

Superintendent Steve Hopkins said in a memo to the board that numerous defendants have been sued in this litigation with most having settled their claims, and asked for money from certain one-time funds.

During the period of exposure, asbestos was found on the premises of Kelly Walsh High School and it appears the plaintiff was at that location engaged in work that could have led to exposure, Hopkins wrote.

The district is not admitting liability, he added.

However, if the case were to go to trial, a jury could award a verdict of $250,000, Hopkins wrote.

The $230,000 settlement is less than the exposure at trial, he wrote.

By settling, the district reduces the ultimate attorney fees and defense costs which could approach as high as half of the verdict value; and the exposure at a trial cannot and will not be compensated by any third-party payor, Hopkins wrote.

The memo did not specify in which court the litigation is pending, the names of the plaintiffs, when and what kind of asbestos exposure occurred, and what if any other settlements the district has reached.

Craig Silva, the district’s attorney, did not return calls seeking comment.

Neither Silva nor Hopkins attended Monday’s meeting, and incoming superintendent Mike Jennings said he could not comment on pending litigation.


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