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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Garlock trial winds down; judge closes courtroom again

Asbestos bankruptcies have been problematic for injured workers and their families. The bankruptcies have drastically reduced benefits paid to individuals who have been exposed to asbestos fiber. Betting on time and delay, asbestos companies have utilized bankruptcy procedure to shield themselves from the economic consequences of asbestos disease: asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.Today's post was shared by Legal Newsline and comes from

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Legal Newsline) — The ongoing bankruptcy trial for Garlock Sealing Technologies wound down Monday with attorneys for the gasket manufacturing company and those representing asbestos claimants calling their last few witnesses with the judge closing the courtroom one more time during a lawyer’s testimony.

The bankruptcy trial, which began in July at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina and is expected to end later this month after a week-and-a-half break, will determine the estimated liability of the company for current and future asbestos claims. One of the central questions that will help establish how much Garlock will owe the claimants revolves around whether Garlock products, many removed decades ago, and no other sources of asbestos, led to cases of mesothelioma. Judge George Hodges will ultimately decide the estimated liability of the company for current and future asbestos claims and how much money the company will need to devote to a trust to escape bankruptcy.

David Glaspy, a California lawyer who has defended Garlock on more than 25,000 asbestos claims, testified that having disclosure of exposure information claimants against the company would have helped the company significantly in their defense.

To try and limit the company’s liability, Garlock attorneys are asserting that some plaintiffs, taking advantage of confidentiality provisions enacted for special trusts established to pay claimants who...
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