Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC has an asbestos bankruptcy department that is devoted to the filing of claims with various trusts created to administer the asbestos liabilities of bankrupt companies. Experienced Lipsitz & Ponterio staff members file all appropriate bankruptcy claims on behalf of our clients, and we work to ensure that our clients receive adequate compensation from these bankrupt companies.
Even if a client may not be able to file a lawsuit, it is often still possible to file bankruptcy proof of claim forms on that client’s behalf. In such cases, the bankruptcy department works closely with the client to identify locations of exposure to asbestos, as well as the types of asbestos-containing products to which the client was exposed. From there, our bankruptcy department ensures the provision of sufficient background information to establish these claims and, when necessary, arbitrates the merits of claims against the trusts to secure appropriate monetary awards for our clients.
In the early 1980s, the Johns Manville Corporation, a former manufacturer and producer of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, filed a bankruptcy petition for reorganization in order to protect itself from its creditors. Those creditors consisted primarily of persons suffering from asbestos-related injuries caused by exposure to Johns Manville products.
United States Bankruptcy Law allowed Johns Manville to file a petition and reorganize the company in order to develop a plan to compensate, at drastically reduced rates, persons suffering from all varieties of asbestos-related disease who were exposed to Johns Manville products, either occupationally or through household exposure.
Since Johns Manville entered bankruptcy, a series of other manufacturers and producers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products have also filed for bankruptcy for essentially the same reasons. In fact, it remains possible that even more companies follow suit.
What it Means for You
A company’s filing of a bankruptcy petition has the effect of bringing a halt to the prosecution of your claim against that particular company. In other words, we are prohibited by law from either starting or continuing your lawsuit against that company, or from otherwise attempting to collect damages from that company, until a plan is put into place to compensate asbestos personal injury victims.
The various bankrupt companies each have or will develop a plan for payment to asbestos victims. The amount of money each company ultimately pays depends upon factors such as the severity of the asbestos-related disease and the available amount of monies each company has to compensate each asbestos victim. We are continually mindful of this situation, and we diligently track the bankrupt companies’ statuses in order to maximize the recoveries for our clients. Despite the bankruptcies, your claim is important and remains valuable. Every client’s options are assessed on an individual basis, and we continue to pursue all potentially responsible parties on your behalf.