Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Massive asbestos exposure settlement proposed

Garlock Sealing Technologies has recently made promises to pay out on approximately 100,000 asbestos related injury claims that have been made against the company. The company plans to do so through a Chapter 11 exit plan that needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge and that will create a trust fund for paying out current and future claimants against the company. Money set aside could equal $200 million.

Without question, those injured by such asbestos exposure will include claimants from Pittsburgh and throughout the Pennsylvania area. That a single company has agreed to such a massive settlement only accentuates the point that asbestos exposure is and will continue to be a major problem that has not been adequately dealt with by various manufacturers throughout the United States.

Garlock was hit by a $10 million jury award in 2006 and resolved another claim for $9.25 million in 2007. The current settlement would allow claimants to either settle out with the company or have the matter resolved through litigation. In any case, the litigation will prove expensive to the company and hopefully will be an incentive for other companies to take the matter of asbestos exposure more seriously.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to 2,000 to 3,000 deaths every year through various forms of cancer and mesothelioma. Lung cancer has been conclusively linked to asbestos exposure. And the only known cause for mesothelioma is cancer, and there are 2,000 to 3,000 newly diagnosed cases every year in the United States. In any case, those that suffer from such exposure will suffer painful and long term consequences that will completely affect the quality of life both for the victims and their families.

Source: Asbestos.com, "Garlock Submits Chapter 11 Exit Plan to Repay 100,000 Asbestos Claims," Dec. 5, 2011

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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