Asbestos

Over the past 40 years, asbestos-related litigation has forced over 100 companies into bankruptcy — devastating workers, retirees, and entire communities. Some project the total cost of asbestos claims at more than $260 billion. Plaintiffs’ attorneys efforts to target companies that had little to do with the manufacture or supply of asbestos-containing products contributes to this astounding figure.  Read More...

An avalanche of asbestos claims has led to the creation of numerous bankruptcy trust funds, which were intended to allow businesses to restructure while providing compensation to affected individuals. Unfortunately, each trust operates completely independently and opaquely, hiding information from other trusts and defendant companies. This lack of transparency fosters an environment ripe for waste, fraud, and abuse, and the unsurprising result has been a significant decline in resources for victims.

Recently, four U.S. senators introduced the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act, a bill that aims to protect future asbestos victims by implementing necessary reforms to the bankruptcy trust system. Plaintiffs’ lawyers often double-dip by making multiple, inconsistent claims against companies and trusts on behalf of their clients. The PROTECT Act would strengthen the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to investigate double-dipping and other misconduct of asbestos claims while shining much-needed light on the operations of asbestos trusts.

Genuine reforms will protect job-creating businesses from abusive lawsuits and ensure that legitimate victims receive the compensation they deserve.

01/01/2019

Suggested Resources

Research
  • Dubious Distribution: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Assets and Compensation

    Dubious Distribution: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Assets and Compensation

    March 08, 2018

    The asbestos bankruptcy trusts, created with the goal of sustainably processing and paying valid asbestos personal injury claims, are quickly being depleted. ILR's research finds that of the 35 asbestos trusts operating as of early 2008, 21 are paying an average of 40 percent less today than in 2008, putting future compensation for asbestos victims in doubt. The paper documents the causes of this rapid depletion, including the highly significant impact of attorney contingency fees. Read More

  • On the Edge: New York County Asbestos Litigation at a Tipping Point

    On the Edge: New York County Asbestos Litigation at a Tipping Point

    August 03, 2017

    This report examines the history and current state of the New York County Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) unit of New York City's state trial court. The analysis concludes that the procedural features that have driven verdicts and settlements higher than those in other jurisdictions are likely to continue under the Revised Case Management Order, absent fresh judicial interpretation and methods of implementation that correct current problems. Read More

All Results for Asbestos

  1. DOJ "Turning Up the Heat" in Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust System

    October 09, 2018 | News

    Recent developments at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) suggest the agency is "turning up the heat to ferret out abuses and potential cases of fraud," according to an article in Law360.... Read More

  2. In the News Today - October 1, 2018

    October 01, 2018 | News

    DOJ Official: Department and Business Should Be "Partners, Not Adversaries;" "Dismissing FCA Cases: The Granston Memo In Action;" DOJ Objects to Bankruptcy Trust Appointment; Find Out What's Trending at ILR's Summit XX: Law, Policy, Politics... Read More

  3. In the News Today - September 19, 2018

    September 19, 2018 | News

    DOJ "Makes Use Of Medicare Law In Blunt Warning To Asbestos Lawyers"... Read More

  4. Last Week's Statement Shows "New Vigilance" From DOJ

    September 18, 2018 | News

    The "Statement of Interest" filed last week by the U.S. Department of Justice signals a "new vigilance" in preventing fraud and abuse in the asbestos trust system, Bloomberg Big Law Business reports.... Read More

  5. DOJ Takes Action To Prevent Asbestos Trust Fraud

    September 14, 2018 | News

    In a court filing yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the bankruptcy trust created to compensate asbestos-related claims against Kaiser Gypsum Inc. "lacks sufficient safeguards" to protect against fraudulent payouts, The Wall Street Journal reports.... Read More

  6. U.S. Chamber Welcomes DOJ Action to Prevent Asbestos Fraud

    September 13, 2018 | Press Release

    Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement about the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) statement of interest in asbestos bankruptcy trust creation:... Read More

  7. Attorney: Asbestos Litigation Reform Needed Even After Silver Sentencing

    August 06, 2018 | News

    Though the seven-year prison sentence of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should help discourage abuse in the asbestos litigation arena, a Chicago-based attorney told Legal Newsline that there are still "strong financial incentives to game the system" that must be addressed through reform.... Read More

  8. In the News Today - July 23, 2018

    July 23, 2018 | News

    Pennsylvania Bill Would Return Asbestos Injury Claims to the State's Workers' Compensation System; 20 Years of ILR Accomplishments: Lending a Helping Hand to a Local Business... Read More

  9. In the News Today - July 17, 2018

    July 17, 2018 | News

    Defense Attorney Says SCOTUS Decision on Personal Jurisdiction in Class Actions is "Inevitable;" Illinois Appellate Judge Reverses Lower Court Decision on Personal Jurisdiction in Asbestos Case... Read More

  10. In the News Today - July 11, 2018

    July 11, 2018 | News

    Bestwall Lawyers Push Back on Asbestos Plaintiffs' Lawyers Attempt to Hire Four New Firms; New Report Finds Cost of Securities Litigation Has Skyrocketed in Recent Years... Read More