Asbestos in Buildings Litigation – The Final Installment for NYC

Deja vu all over agains struck recently because asbestos-in-buildings litigation reared its head recently due to a New York Law Journal article of September 21, 2016. The article essentially repeated a September 19, 2016 press release from the NYC Law Department.   The press release states:

“LAW DEPARTMENT RECOVERS $136 MILLION IN DAMAGES FOR ASBESTOS ABATEMENT

Final Payment from U.S. Mineral Trust Concludes Successful Effort by the City to Recover Costs for Abating Asbestos Hazards in City-Owned Buildings Recovery is the Largest by an Asbestos Property Damage Claimant in the Nation

The New York City Law Department announced today that it has received the last payment in connection with the City’s longstanding effort to recover money it spent abating asbestos hazards in schools and other buildings. The payment from U.S. Mineral Trust brings the City’s total asbestos recovery to over $136 million, the largest recovery by an asbestos property damage claimant in the nation.

“This victory is the culmination of three decades of work by the City’s lawyers who were very aggressive in pursuing claims against companies who marketed asbestos products long after knowing of the dangers. This recovery will help reduce the enormous bill the City incurred over the years identifying, abating and removing asbestos hazards from its facilities,” said Alan H. Kleinman, Law Department Senior Counsel.

The City was among the first building owners to take action against manufacturers. In 1984, the City initiated litigation and became involved in bankruptcy proceedings as these companies filed for protection.

The City pressed the position that building owners, especially cities and other public entities, were entitled to recover damages out of the bankruptcy estates. The Law Department, on behalf of the City, filed thousands of claims against bankrupt firms and asserted claims in various forums, including in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The overall effort helped the City achieve its substantial recovery and advance the claims of numerous other governments to recover their fair share of damages.”

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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