A bankruptcy case in Charlotte, North Carolina could end an ongoing $1 billion asbestos dispute. With 25 years into the legal battle, billions have been paid to generations of asbestos victims; now, the fate of current and future victims hinge on this single case.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Hodges has been hearing all sides of this complex asbestos litigation, which happens to be the longest-running liability tort in U.S. history.
Garlock Sealing Technologies manufactures asbestos-containing seals and gaskets for industries including petrochemicals, power generation, mining and pharmaceuticals.
Garlock says its responsibility to its asbestos victims is $125 million; however, attorneys representing those victims are not impressed. Litigators say the negligent company owes $1.3 billion more to their clients.
The company filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2010, one of dozens of businesses that turned to the courts for settling thousands of asbestos lawsuits. To get out of bankruptcy, Garlock must come up with a figure to cover future medical payments for victim’s mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses.
In court filings, Garlock stated that their obligation to their victims is “at or near zero.” Attorneys representing Garlock’s victims stated the company’s evaluation of the situation “has no foundation in reality.”
Manufacturers Who Used Asbestos and the Importance of This Asbestos Litigation
This lawsuit is very important because it could help shape the laws in favor of victims of asbestos exposure. Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products such as Garlock need to be held liable for the thousands of lives they have affected.
Those who have prolonged exposure to asbestos that occurs during many industrial and construction-related tasks are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. If you or someone you love used or worked around asbestos-containing products and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have legal options for compensation. Contact our firm today at 1 (888) 637-6347 for a free and confidential consultation.
[Did You Know: In 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos in consumer products due to the hazardous nature of materials that contain this substance.]