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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Witnesses present divergent settlement figures in Garlock estimation trial

Today's post was shared by Legal Newsline and comes from

Attorneys representing claimants suing Garlock Sealing Technologies for asbestos exposure presented a second consultant who estimated the company would need to devote $1,293 billion to a trust to settle pending and future claims against the company, a figure a Nobel prize winning economist testified was unreliable because of what he said was questionable methodology Friday.

Francine Rabinovitz, president of Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, said she relied on the past five years of asbestos litigation data to come up with the figure. A Garlock consultant previously testified the company would need to devote a significantly less amount – $270 million. Rabinovitz said she arrived at her figure by estimating the size of the population exposed to asbestos, the proportions of persons exposed to asbestos who develop mesothelioma, and the cost of defending asbestos claims among other factors.

Rabinovitz’s figure comes close to the estimate of Mark Peterson, a lawyer with a Ph.D. in social psychology who does estimations for trusts and was also called to offer his estimation in court by claimant attorneys. Peterson came up with a figure of $1.365 billion to cover liability Garlock would likely face from people who have pending claims against the company and future claimants who will develop cases of mesothelioma in the coming years.

Judge George Hodges will ultimately decide how much money the company will need to devote to escape bankruptcy....
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