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. Chamber Releases Study on Impact of Asbestos Lawsuits

    January 22, 2003 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 23, 2003 - The United States Chamber of Commerce today released new research that shows how asbestos lawsuits not only adversely affect the companies being sued but also cause secondary harm to other businesses, governments, communities and individuals. ... Read More

  2. Chamber Supports House Judiciary Committee Asbestos Litigation Reform Bill

    March 15, 2000 | Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2000 - The United States Chamber of Commerce today called the House Judiciary Committee's passage of the Fairness in Asbestos Compensation Act (H.R. 1283) an important step toward resolving billions of dollars in compensation claims. The asbestos litigation reform bill is designed to speed settlements, unclog courts and restore a measure of predictability for affected companies. The proposal establishes federal authority to speed compensation to the hundreds of thousands of people physically harmed by asbestos.... Read More