Program Description: Over the last four decades, virtually all former manufacturers of asbestos-containing thermal insulation have been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Today, scores of companies that filed for bankruptcy protection due to asbestos litigation have emerged from the 524(g) bankruptcy process, leaving in their place dozens of trusts funded with tens of billions of dollars in assets to pay claims. As a result, asbestos claimants now have two parallel – and wholly independent – sources of recoveries: claims against asbestos trusts and tort lawsuits against solvent defendants that remain in the tort system. The lack of transparency that exists between the asbestos bankruptcy trust claim and civil tort systems has led to reports of abuses and inconsistencies with regard to plaintiffs’ claims of exposure to asbestos. The program explained the current state of America’s longest running (and still very active) mass tort, the emergence of asbestos bankruptcy trusts and their impact on civil tort litigation, and discussed legislation that has been introduced to promote greater asbestos bankruptcy trust claim transparency.
For More Information, Contact: Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy