Crown Cork & Seal Comments On New Pennsylvania Asbestos Law

Monday, December 17, 2001

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc. (NYSE: CCK; Paris Bourse) announced today that Governor Schweiker of Pennsylvania signed into law a bill that limits the asbestos-related liabilities of Pennsylvania companies such as Crown that incurred those liabilities because they are successors by corporate merger to companies that had been involved with asbestos. The bill was passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly last week.

The new Pennsylvania legislation caps this liability at the total value of the predecessor's assets. In 1963, Crown acquired stock of Mundet Cork Corporation for $7 million to obtain Mundet's bottle cap business. Mundet had also been in the insulation business, and asbestos claimants allege that asbestos was used in some of Mundet's insulation products. Mundet sold off its insulation assets 90 days after Crown's acquisition and later was merged into Crown. Crown has paid approximately $350 million to date in settling asbestos claims.

John W. Conway, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are grateful for the efforts of the many State Senators and Representatives around Pennsylvania who supported this legislation. We applaud the wisdom of the leadership of the General Assembly and of the Governor in dealing with this problem. Crown does not discount the problem of serious asbestos-related disease, but rather sees the new legislation as a demonstration of fundamental fairness in allocating liability. This new act reflects better public policy. Of course, Crown will take appropriate steps to integrate the provision of the legislation into our national claims defense strategy."

Crown Cork & Seal is a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies around the world. World headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SOURCE Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.
Web site:
CONTACT: Michael F. Dunleavy, Vice President - Business Development of Crown Cork & Seal Company, +1-215-698-5051, or Edward Bisno of Edelman Financial, +1-212-704-8212