Insurer Royal & Sun Alliance is being sued in Britain for about $1 billion by General Motors, the U.S. auto giant, in a long-running dispute about personal injury claims linked to asbestos, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
GM filed a lawsuit against RSA in a U.S. court in January 2005, seeking payment of all legal claims from asbestos-related lawsuits and additional damages, and Saturday's Telegraph said GM filed a complaint on Friday in London's High Court.
GM officials could not immediately comment and RSA could not be reached.
GM's lawsuit in Michigan last year claimed RSA breached its contract with the U.S. automaker and failed to pay legal liabilities from personal injuries and property damage from asbestos claims.
The Telegraph said GM filed in London because it was concerned that RSA does not have sufficient reserves in its U.S. operations to pay if the auto maker wins. The UK insurer's reserves at its U.S. arms have fallen sharply in recent years.
The newspaper said the dispute relates to policies provided to GM by RSA's U.S. arms between 1954 and 1974.
Asbestos is a cancer-causing mineral that was used in brakes, and a growing number of automotive mechanics are filing lawsuits seeking compensation from automakers.