Kirk T. Hartley
Mass Tort Estimation Orders: The Bestwall Example for Mesotheliomas
A newly entered order in the Bestwall/Georgia Pacific chapter 11 case provides a ruling on some aspects of an estimation process to value mesothelioma claims - it is online here. Time will tell how things work out. For now, it is enough to note that there is vast argument, lore and law on how chapter 11 courts are to estimate the value of claims arising out of cancers allegedly caused by mesothelioma, and the resulting numbers approved by bankruptcy judges and then district courts. With the benefit of hindsight, one can see that many courts have reached conclusions that were exponentially wrong, such as the exponentially too low estimates entered in the Manville case, as explained in RAND's study of asbestos trusts, at 5-7. Other mesothelioma estimates were not as far wrong, but still very wrong, as detailed in the remainder of RAND's study.