In tort litigation — asbestos bodily injury tort litigation in particular — corporations occasionally are served with (and become parties to) lawsuits in which the plaintiffs named the wrong entity as a defendant to the action. In those instances, does the wrongly named corporation’s insurance company have a duty to defend the action? In a word, yes.

Let’s consider the hypothetical company of “Smith Insulation, Inc.” Surely a risk manager or claim handler can imagine instances in which Smith Insulation, Inc. is served with a complaint that names some variation of the company’s name as a defendant, such as “Smith.” That is not uncommon in asbestos litigation. Even if Smith Insulation, Inc. was wrongly named as a defendant — perhaps there was another company with a similar name, like Smith Insulators Corporation, that allegedly caused the injury or damage — Smith Insulation, Inc. should be defended by its insurer(s) nonetheless.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including and

Already have an account?



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including, and
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.