Asbestos Bankruptcy Fund

An asbestos bankruptcy fund is a trust account that has been set aside by an asbestos company driven into bankruptcy by the damage claims filed against it. Since asbestos was fully recognized as a dangerous health hazard in the mid 1970s and most asbestos products banned, there have been hundreds of thousands of lawsuits and claims filed against asbestos mining companies and corporations that both manufactured and used asbestos products.

Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause asbestosis – a scarring of lung tissue – and mesothelioma cancer, an incurable malignancy that usually results in death twelve to eighteen months after diagnosis. Since the courts have held asbestos companies liable for health damages due to their products, workers from the construction trades, military veterans and workers from dozens of industries filed suits against manufacturers of asbestos and companies who used the material in their products or their production facilities. More about Asbestos Bankruptcy Fund.

Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts

The Background

For almost one hundred years asbestos was one of the most popular materials used for the manufacture of insulation and hundreds of industrial and construction products that needed to be flexible, fire resistant and tough. By the 1970s however the asbestos companies finally acknowledged the obvious: asbestos fibers can be extremely toxic when inhaled or ingested.

Since then the courts have held asbestos companies liable for health damages due to their products. Hundreds of thousands of claims have been filed against them for damages, almost exclusively health damages.  Employees from the construction trades, military veterans and workers from dozens of industries filed suits against manufacturers of asbestos and companies who used the material in their products. More about Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts

Asbestos Bankruptcy Companies

Asbestos and American Industry

For almost one hundred years asbestos was one of the most popular materials used for the manufacture of insulation and hundreds of industrial and construction products that needed to insulate, act as a fire retardant, be flexible yet tough.  By the 1970s however the asbestos companies finally acknowledged the obvious: asbestos fibers can be extremely toxic when inhaled or ingested.  Recognizing asbestos toxicity resulted in, among other things, several dozen asbestos bankruptcies.

Since the courts have held asbestos companies liable for health damages due to their products, hundreds of thousands of claims have been filed against those companies for damages.  Employees from the construction trades, military veterans, and workers from dozens of industries filed suits against manufacturers of asbestos and companies who used the material in their products. More about Asbestos Bankruptcy Companies


Owens Corning Sets Up Asbestos Fund for Victims

To recover, claimants must be seriously ill from exposure to asbestos at a job site where Owens Corning's products were used. The spouses of people killed by exposure can also recover.

News Source: seattlepi.com  |  Read Full Story

W.R. Grace & Co. and New Jersey Dispute Asbestos Lawsuit Venue

TRENTON - W.R. Grace & Co. and the New Jersey attorney general are wrangling over what court will have jurisdiction over the state's civil suit against the Maryland-based construction products and chemical manufacturer.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court this past summer, accuses the company of submitting false or misleading information to state regulators about the asbestos-tainted vermiculite it processed over the course of three decades at a fireproofing and insulation plant in Hamilton.

News Source: nj.com  |  Read Full Story

Mesothelioma Community Will Convene to Focus on Cure

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The urgent mission to improve treatments for a deadly, asbestos-related cancer will make another step forward, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) announced today, with the Second International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.

Meso is a malignant tumor that aggressively invades the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles. The need for research to develop effective treatments was neglected for decades. But in the past few years, exciting progress has begun. MARF, the national nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate meso as a life-ending disease, has organized the Symposium to review this progress, elucidate the latest advances, and strengthen and encourage the entire meso community.

The Symposium will be held in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace convention center, October 6 through 8. Following the highly successful 2004 format, the program combines highly relevant material for the patient/family and advocacy communities with scientific presentations by leading experts on the latest in meso science and treatment.

The Symposium will open powerfully with presentations on the scope of the mesothelioma tragedy and the continuing threat, by Dr. Stephen Levin from the renowned Mount Sinai Irving Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, author and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Andrew Schneider, and international experts Michael Harbut and Michele Carbone.

Sessions focused specifically for patients and caregivers will cover the clinical aspects of the disease and its treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, experimental treatments, and pain management. Extended break-out sessions are planned for patients, caregivers and the bereaved, to offer holistic strategies for the emotional, physical and psychological aspects of the disease.

Major scientific topics will include evolving diagnostic, prognostic and staging technologies, including the latest in early detection. Multi-modal management -- surgery, radio and chemotherapy -- will be covered in detail for both pleural and peritoneal meso. Systemic chemotherapy protocols will be reviewed, including an assessment of the Alimta/Cisplatin regimen. Second line and novel treatment approaches will be discussed, along with a thorough overview of meso research projects currently underway. Participating physicians will receive CME credits for these sessions. Patients, family members and other non-medical professionals are also welcome to attend.

News Source: PR Newswire  |  Read Full Story

Specter pressured to lower amount of proposed asbestos fund

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is reportedly under pressure to scale back his proposal for a $140 Billion privately financed asbestos fund.

The White House has not explicitly endorsed Specter's proposal, and some Republicans and business interests fear its current provisions would be too costly for the defendant companies and insurers who would finance the fund.
News Source: Reuters  |  Read Full Story

Georgia Supreme Court Rules on Asbestos Liability Lawsuits

Georgia Supreme Court ruled that family members of employees who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace cannot sue the employer as a result of coming into contact with the employees clothes away from the workplace.

The court concluded that "the holding in Widera is consistent with negligence law in Georgia" and that "an employer does not owe a duty of care to a third-party non-employee who comes into contact with its employee's asbestos-tainted work clothing at locations away from the workplace."
News Source: hr.blr.com  |  Read Full Story

W.R. Grace and Co. Executives Plead Not Guilty

Former Grace executives plead not guilty to charges that they knowingly endangering residents of Libby, Montana, and concealed information about the health affects of its asbestos mining operations.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, six W.R. Grace and Co. executives and their dozen-plus lawyers appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leif Erickson on Tuesday to plead not guilty to charges that they knowingly concealed information about the deadly health effects of their company's vermiculite mine in Libby.

The defendants are also accused of obstructing the government's cleanup efforts and wire fraud. To date, according to the indictment, approximately 1,200 residents of Libby area have been identified as suffering from some kind of asbestos-related abnormality.

News Source: Billings Gazette  |  Read Full Story

Veterans May Benefit from Asbestos Compensation Fun

An Op-Ed piece by Alabama veterans in the Decatur Daily voices their support for an asbestos compensation fund. Veterans with asbestos related diseases are presently not able to sue the U.S. Government over their contact with asbestos, nor will that change anytime soon. The alternative is to sue the companies who supplied the government, but veterans say most of those companies are bankrupt or don't exist anymore. However, an asbestos bill may provide veterans relief as they would be able to receive compensation provided by insurers and businesses involved in the asbestos industry.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is hard at work on a bill that would create a national asbestos victims' compensation fund to solve the crisis. The government wouldn't have to pay a penny under this plan. Businesses and insurance companies will pay into the fund. Truly sick victims with asbestos-related illnesses will get paid quickly, without having to hire a trial lawyer or face the uncertainty in the court system.
News Source: Decatur Daily  |  Read Full Story

The Cruel Saga of Asbestos Disease

Paul Brodeur, a staff writer at the New Yorker, wrote a commentary piece for the LA Times providing us with an insightful look at what he calls The Cruel Saga of Asbestos Disease

In pioneering studies conducted in the 1960s, Selikoff demonstrated the horrific extent of asbestos lung disease in heavily exposed asbestos insulators. He then showed that asbestos disease was also striking less- exposed workers who toiled alongside the insulators in shipyards and on building construction sites. Other scientists found that the wives and children of asbestos workers were dying through exposure to the relatively small amounts of asbestos dust their husbands and fathers were bringing home on their work clothes.

Paul Brodeur has also written four books on asbestos disease:

News Source: LA Times  |  Read Full Story

James Hardie Industries Faces US Asbestos Lawsuits

The Australian reports the James Hardie Industries faces lawsuits in the United States, specifically California, by former employees who handled Asbestos. The bigger story is that James Hardie Industries may have asbestos liability in the United States.

The workers were employed by Californian distributor Industrial Building Materials Inc, which they claim imported and installed Hardie asbestos products. Mr Kazan's firm has won a number of similar cases in the past.
News Source: The Australian  |  Read Full Story

Mississippi Justice Overturns Judge's Order in Asbestos Injury Lawsuit

AP reports that Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, George C. Carlson Jr, has ordered plaintiffs in an asbestos injury lawsuit to justify why their cases should be heard in Jones County, Mississippi. This overturns an order by Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum where by 115 plaintiffs would be grouped together.

Carlson said the plaintiffs must provide the defendants with information on who each plaintiff sued and why. That information should also include when the plaintiff was exposed and the work site where the exposure occurred.
News Source: Associated Press  |  Read Full Story

UK Insurer Gets Partial Victory in Asbestos Case

Reuters reports that Aviva, an insurer, and the government wanted to stop pay-outs for pleural plaques.

Holland slashed the level of compensation to be awarded, ruling that provisional damages should be between 3,500 and 4,000 pounds rather than the previous range of 5,000 to 7,000 and final damages should be between 6,000 and 7,000 pounds compared with the previous range of 12,500 to 20,000.
News Source: Reuters  |  Read Full Story

Libby, Montana in the Aftermath of W.R. Grace and Co. Indictment

An AP story describes Libby, Montana in the aftermath of the W.R. Grace indictment.

Posters promise "Door Prizes!!" and "Blood draw to participate in ongoing research!" Companies that sell home oxygen supplies will send reps. Doctors and researchers will be here. There will be consultants to help asbestosis victims apply for public aid. And there will be advice on finding help with the housework when the disease becomes too much.

But the most interesting quote in the AP story comes from Ed Baker, a former city councilman, "He'd go back to work for them today if he was alive. My dad knew in the '60s that his lungs were turning to concrete. Like he always told me, he took his chances and he could have quit at anytime. But they were good jobs."

How many people feel that way in Libby, Montana? Probably not many family members, and 1200 victims who have been identified as suffering from some kind of asbestos-related abnormality.

W.R. Grace and its executives, as far back as the 1970's, attempted to conceal information about the adverse health effects of the company's vermiculite mining operations and distribution of vermiculite in the Libby, Montana community, according to the indictment.

The defendants are also accused of obstructing the government's cleanup efforts and wire fraud.

News Source: Associated Press  |  Read Full Story