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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

More on the Palermo Claim to the Manville Trust 37 Years After Death

Thanks to information contributed by professional contacts, more information is coming out regarding the previously described "Palermo" claim to the Manville Trust, and a related federal court lawsuit against the DII Trust by the same claimant. The claims are unique because they are being made over the last four or so years, some 37 years after Mr. Palermo’s death in 1966. This window into the asbestos trust world was opened by public publishing of opinion in Gail Garner v. DII Industries, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9583 (Feb 4. 2010).

Here is an image of the complaint mentioned in the federal district. The complaint includes some very interesting correspondence with the Manville Trust regarding the claims raised.

Here is an online post that appears to be by the claimant, who says she is Mr. Palermo’s daugher. The post is to a public website.

In short, it appears the daughter of Mr. Palermo is an active pro se litigant seeking money for his estate from at least 7 trusts. And, judging by the attachments to the complaint, there are multiple other unusual "extraordinary circumstances" claims to the chapter 11 asbestos trusts.

One can certainly appreciate the logic and reasons for the claims asserted by Ms. Garner on behalf of the estate. On the other hand, it’s pretty amazing to see this happening and think about the defense side consequences. The claims also shed some light on propensity to claim, and various factors related to the appropirate amounts of compensation of claims so long after death. The claims also raise issues about whether and how much lawyers are needed for claims to chapter 11 trusts.

Most importantly, taken as a whole, the papers provide yet a precise example of why the actions of the chapter 11 trusts and the trustees should be transparent instead of cloaked in secrecy. The public and the policy makers of our day should have access to the facts. On secrecy, here’s another plug for a 2009 law review article written by Stephen Wm. Smith, a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas, Houston division. See "Kudzu in the Courthouse: Judgments Made in the Shade," 3 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. # 2, 177 (2009). The full text article is available here, and is free.



Dear Deana:

I just read your book in 2 sittings. I enjoyed it. It surprised me. There was much heartbreak as there was much enjoyment. My life was similar. My dad, Angelo Palermo, (Italian American) was away at work a lot (spray coating asbestos) and he lost a daughter (my sister) in a tragedy (she drowned), four years before he died. He died at age 51 of cancer. While I was reading your book, on page 198 you stated ‘Dad, inhaling deeply on his Kent cigarette…’ I have an old ad about Kent cigarettes having asbestos filters. Thirty-four (34) years after the death of my father, I put in a claim against Johns-Manville, a large asbestos company. No attorney would take the case but I did it on my own, and won. I now have 6 more claims in against other asbestos companies. I believe you have a case to sue for asbestos wrongful death. There is no statue of limitation (discovery rule). I can help you and I would like some assistance in how I can publish a book about my case. Please respond. Really enjoyed your book. Our family, including my father, loved your father.


Gail Palermo Garner


#AsbestosTrusts #PropensitytoClaim

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