The former Appleton Papers has won a court decision in the battle over who has to pick up the tab for Fox River cleanup. A state appeals court has ruled that the insurance companies need to pay for the costs to remove or cap Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Attorney Ron Ragatz of Madison represented Appleton Papers, now know simply as Appleton, in the suit and said it upholds an earlier decision in Brown County court. “This decision confirms that the jury was right in 2008 when they gave us a verdict for coverage. This confirms that our trial judge was right when he entered a judgement on that verdict.”
Ragatz said the two-to-one decision means that the Westport Insurance Company is liable for five million dollars of the costs. “Insurance policies are a contract. The costs that Appleton papers is incurring now to clean up the Fox River fall within the terms of those coverages,” said Ragatz. “This is what they promised to pay us and at this point the court of appeals has confirmed that that was their promise to us, and they need to honor it.” Ragatz said Appleton has reached confidential settlements with about 20 other insurers. The Fox River cleanup is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mike Kemmeter, WHBY