Asbestos Litigation Risks – Some Companies Seek Unique Legislative Answers for Unique Risks
As described in this article, Crown Cork and Seal continues its efforts to obtain legislative solutions for its unique asbestos litigation risks. Key excerpts are below from an article about action by the legislature in Virginia:
A closely divided House of Delegates voted Monday to shield a company from liability to asbestos-related health claims.
“Del. Terry Kilgore’s bill, HB 629, doesn’t mention any company by name. But the way it is drafted, it applies to only one: Crown Cork & Seal, a Philadelphia-based manufacturer of cans and bottle caps. It has plants in Suffolk and Winchester. Crown Cork & Seal has never manufactured any products containing asbestos. But in 1963 it purchased the stock of Mundet Cork Co., which had an insulation division that it sold 90 days later. Under existing law, Crown is liable to lawsuits resulting from the presence of asbestos in Mundet’s insulation products. Kilgore’s bill. which won preliminary House approval, limits Crown’s asbestos-related liability to the value of Mundet’s assets at the time it was purchased. Kilgore, R-Lee County, characterized the measure as a “jobs bill,” saying it would protect a Virginia employer from potentially crippling litigation. Dozens of asbestos companies have been driven into bankruptcy by billions of dollars in lawsuits brought by workers who contracted deadly lung diseases from handling the material.”