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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Answers to FAQ’s Regarding Asbestos Bankruptcies

Time to put in one place some answers to questions I’m repeatedly asked or ask myself. The list will expand over time.

1) Where are Updated Lists of Asbestos Bankruptcy Cases? Believe it or not, you can find online a very useful set of lists of asbestos bankruptcy cases, including citations to published opinions in the cases. This link will take you to this set of lists thoughtfully maintained in public view by a team of bright lawyers at Crowell & Moring. The team is led by Mark Plevin, and represents insurers in many asbestos bankruptcy cases. They kindly provide periodic updates to the lists and post them online. Just go to this page of the Crowell web site and choose the list you want.

2) Where Are Periodic Commentaries Summarizing the Status of Asbestos Bankruptcies ? The Crowell & Moring team also has published a series of five articles with expert commentary on the status of and key issues in asbestos bankruptcy cases. The articles are titled “Where Are They Now” and can be found at the same page as the bankruptcy lists. Reading these summaries provides a great, manageable lesson in how the cases and issues have evolved.

3) How Much Money Do the Asbestos Trusts Have ? This answer is harder because of course the amount keeps changing. As of November, 2006, the answer was: about $ 30 billion. That answer is set out in an excellent article by economists Charlie Bates and Charlie Mullin who lead an expert team at economic consulting firm Bates White. They know the asbestos bankruptcy topic quite thoroughly. The article’s title is “Having Your Tort and Eating it Too?”

4) Is Valid Science Applied in Asbestos Bankruptcy “Liability Estimates” ? No, according to a an expert witness report submitted in the W.R. Grace asbestos bankruptcy by Dr. James Heckman, a Nobel Prize winning economist at the University of Chicago. Dr. Heckman’s expert witness report is here, along with the brief of the WR Grace shareholder committee that submitted the report in support of Grace’s attacks on the estimates offered by other witnesses. The report is a scathing indictment of the lack of science and reliability in the estimation process used in asbestos bankruptcies.

5) What Happened in the Federal-Mogul Bankruptcy Regarding the Efforts to Stay all Underlying Asbestos Cases Against All Friction Defendants? The answer is in this prior post.

6) Where is a Terse Summary of the Babcock & Wilcox Chapter 11 and Report of the $415 Million Settlement with Equitas? At this page of the website of Jenner & Block, counsel for the debtor.

Where is the free web site for the Pittsburg-Corning website ? It’s online here.

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