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Bankrupt Defendants


Since the early 1980’s, companies responsible for inflicting asbestos-related illness on hundreds of thousands of Americans have sought to limit or escape legal liability through filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

By filing Chapter 11, a company is given immediate immunity from lawsuits filed by the victims of its asbestos products. The company is then given many years to satisfy a number of legal requirements while the victims, many of whom do not have the luxury of time, are forced to wait. Upon meeting the requirements, the company is granted permanent immunity from lawsuits filed by all past and future victims, and is able to emerge from bankruptcy and continue doing business as usual.

The one consolation to asbestos illness victims is the requirement that the company pool assets and insurance proceeds and place them in a trust to compensate past and future victims. The trust establishes guidelines dictating the amount of compensation to be paid to claimants based primarily on severity of illness. While it is not necessary for victims to appear in court or provide testimony, the amount received from the trust is often far less than what would have been received if the company could be sued in a lawsuit.

Since the first major bankruptcy filing by Johns-Manville Corp., in 1982, nearly 70 companies that either made or installed asbestos insulation or that sold or used products containing asbestos have filed for bankruptcy.

Since the beginning of 2000, at least 40 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection.

(Click Here for a List Bankrupt Manufacturers)


From Roger Worthington

  • A Message to Asbestos Defense: Solve the Problem, Cure the Cancer. RGW (3/31/03)
  • Explosion of Unimpaired Claims, Uncaring Congress and Legal Loopholes Accelerate Asbestos Company Bankruptcies; Bankruptcy Courts Wrestle With Payout Ratio For Mesothelioma Victims vs. Unimpaired. RGW (2/18/02)

Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2001

A series of multi-million-dollar jury awards to victims of asbestos exposure in recent months is sending shock waves through corporate America, contributing to several major bankruptcy filings and warnings of massive future damages.

The wave of new litigation and a surge in the number of people reporting exposure are a blunt reminder that the asbestos problem, a largely forgotten product liability mess of the 1980s, has not gone away.


Wednesday August 15, 2001

All major U.S. asbestos makers are likely to be bankrupt within the next two years as people with asbestos-related ailments continue to file injury and compensation claims against the companies, a study published on Wednesday said.


Additional Information:

Just as the ongoing epidemic of asbestos-caused mortality and injury has been overshadowed by the controversy over litigation, the origins of asbestos lawsuits have been buried beneath claims that litigation has "bankrupted" dozens of large U.S. companies, and that Congress must put an end to asbestos litigation in order to protect more companies from going bankrupt in the future.

Owens Corning

  • Key to Owens Corning Bankruptcy Exit (10/25/06)
  • OCF and Fibreboard $5.1 Billion Asbestos Settlement Trust Approved, Takes Effect October 30, 2006. (10/4/06)
  • Owens Corning Files for Bankruptcy (10/5/00)

Flintkote

  • Flintkote Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition (5/28/04)


United Stated Gypsum

  • Despite 3 years in Bankruptcy, Former Asbestos Behemoth USG reports Record High Profits (5/13/04)


3M

  • Liability Lawsuits Galore Dog 3M Over Dust Masks (4/18/4)


Automobile/Friction Product Manufacturers


Combustion Engineering

  • ABB And Combustion Engineering Reach Asbestos Agreement (2/14/03)


J.T. Thorpe

  • J T Thorpe Co. Files Prepackaged Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan (11/20/02)


A.P. Green, Harbison Walker Company

  • A.P. Green and Harbison-Walker File for Bankruptcy (2/15/02)


Kaiser Aluminum

  • Kaiser Aluminum Files for Bankruptcy (2/14/02)


North American Refractories

  • North American Refractories Files for Chapter 11 (1/7/02)


Federal Mogul

  • Federal-Mogul Corporation Files for Chapter 11 (10/1/01)


U.S. Mineral

  • U.S. Mineral Files for Chapter 11 (7/23/01)


U.S. Gypsum

  • U.S. Gypsum Files for Chapter 11 (6/28/01)
  • Former Asbestos Maker USG Considers Bankruptcy (6/4/01)

W.R.Grace

  • W.R.Grace Files for Chapter 11 (4/2/01)


Against Backdrop of Rash of Chapter 11 Bankruptcies, Time to Consider Legislation That Preserves Right of Access to Courts for Malignancy/Disabled Asbestos Victims. (12/4/00)

  • An Addendum -- (3/7/01)

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