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

Asbestos manufacturers in bankruptcy courts

Certain companies located in the Pennsylvania area are facing as many as 15,000 pending asbestos-related injury claims. Out of those 15,000 claims, approximately 2,800 of them concern the contracting of mesothelioma. The companies manufactured an asbestos joint compound that was to be used in various home renovation projects.

However, what each of these victims receives is largely in the hands of the United States Bankruptcy court in Pittsburgh as the company purportedly responsible for the asbestos exposure has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company will likely have to set up trusts for compensating the victims of the asbestos exposure.

The attorneys on both sides are now hiring a number of expert witnesses and organizing evidence to determine what each case is actually worth. For example, the debtors are attempting to deflect blame by stating that they only dealt in Chrysotile asbestos that supposedly is less toxic than amphibole asbestos. They thus claim that their products may have only contributed to 50 percent of the mesothelioma cases filed.

Considering how much victims of asbestos exposure are up against to begin with, it's not easy for attorneys to first have to prove up their claims, get in line with other creditors, and demonstrate that the mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease came from a particular source among possible multiple sources. That's why it's best for victims to consult with attorneys that have a great deal of experience in trying these cases.

Though many asbestos manufacturers are facing tough financial times, these companies' problems are extremely minor when compared to the ordeals of victims of asbestos exposure. While the manufacturers can attempt to opt out paying victims by declaring bankruptcy, victims of mesothelioma have little to look forward to in the future and can only hope that their families can be compensated.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Asbestos bankruptcy estimation hearing highlights major disparities," by Jon Campisi, Jan. 9, 2013

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

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