How Bankruptcy and Settlement Trusts Affect Asbestos Lawsuits
Our Involvement in the Bankruptcy Process
Several companies involved with asbestos manufacturing and products have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (reorganizations) in recent years. When a company files for bankruptcy, actions against it are suspended pending a decision by the Bankruptcy Court, which must approve a plan of reorganization. Brayton Purcell works to ensure that bankruptcy and the reorganization process are not used to avoid responsibilities to asbestos claimants.
Settlement Trusts in Asbestos Bankruptcy Cases
The reorganization plan must be submitted to creditors and to the court. Most companies set up settlement trusts as part of the plan. These are trusts that are organized to process, liquidate and pay all valid asbestos personal injury claims according to procedures approved by the bankruptcy court. Asbestos claimants, including future claimants, file claims against the settlement trust rather than against the company declaring bankruptcy.
Monies may not be disbursed to claimants until the court approves a bankruptcy plan. The large number of asbestos claims, some of which pose complex medical issues, often causes the bankruptcy process to take from several months to several years.
Claimants should be aware that the medical and asbestos exposure requirements vary for each settlement trust. Approved claims are paid based on the current payment percentage at that time. Typically, the trusts determine the settlement value of the claim, then apply a payment percentage which is only a fraction of the total value of the claim. Most trusts now pay from 5% to 15% of a claim’s value.
A trust will not contact doctors for additional information nor will it assist claimants with determining product exposure information. Therefore, it is very helpful to have an experienced attorney handle the details of an asbestos claim.
Working for Asbestos Victims
The attorneys at Brayton Purcell file claims with the bankruptcy court on behalf of a client early in the case. The firm has volunteered to serve on various bankruptcy committees and closely monitors all asbestos bankruptcies.
Alan Brayton, founding and senior partner, serves as chairman of the Asbestos Unsecured Creditors’ Committee and also serves on the Owens Corning Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants. He attends meetings and works to achieve as favorable a resolution as possible for asbestos victims in relation to other bankruptcy creditors. In all cases, Brayton Purcell takes the position that it must play an active role in bankruptcies by fighting for clients’ rights. It will oppose efforts by otherwise solvent asbestos defendants to evade their responsibilities through bankruptcy.
As advocates for asbestos victims and their families, Brayton Purcell can provide the latest information on bankruptcies of companies involved with asbestos products This page will list recent bankruptcies, as well as links to bankruptcy web sites.
Asbestos Bankruptcy Web Sites
- Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
- Babcock & Wilcox Asbestos Trust
- Celotex Corporation
- E.J. Bartells
- Fuller Austin Insulation Co.
- Global Technologies (GIT)
- Johns–Manville Corporation—Manville Trust
- North American Refractories Co.
- Owens–Corning Asbestos Claimants' Committee
- USG Corporation
- W.R. Grace
Addtional Asbestos Companies in Bankruptcy Proceedings
- A C and S
- A.P. Green Industries, Inc.
- A.P. Green Cement Co.
- Asbestos Claims Mgmt Corp.
- Alliance Coatings Co., LLC (Bethlehem Steel)
- Amatex (formerly known as American Asbestos Textile Corp.)
- Bethlehem Steel
- Combustion Engineering, Inc.
- Detrick Company (known as M.H. Detrick)
- DII Industires (Haliburton/Harbison-Walker)
- Fibreboard Corp.
- Forty Eight Insulations
- G–I Holdings Inc. (formerly GAF Corp.)
- Gatke Corporation
- General Chemical Corporation
- H.K. Porter
- Hayes–Lemmerz International Co.
- J.T. Thorpe, Inc (TX)
- J.T. Thorpe Inc. (S. CA)
- Kaiser Aluminum
- Keene Corporation
- National Gypsum Company (ACMC)
- Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
- Plibrico Company
- Plibrico Sales & Service
- Porter Hayden
- Plant Insulation
- Raytech Corporation (Also known as Raymark)
- Raymark Industries, Inc.
- Raytheon Constructors, Inc.
- Rutland Fire Clay Co.
- Shook & Fletcher
- Stone & Webster Engineering
- Synkoloid Company (ARTRA)
- T&N, Limited
- Thorpe Insulation
- United States Mineral Products
- Western Macarthur Company