Facing hundreds of pending asbestos lawsuits, paint specialty and home maintenance product maker United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The Scranton, PA company is looking for the help of the bankruptcy court to help it maintain its current business course.
UGL Laboratories seeks to create an asbestos bankruptcty trust to settle asbestos-related claims that are currently in litigation. It has petitioned the court to prevent any asbestos lawsuits from proceeding, so they can settle all claims through the trust. The company has already paid over $25M in asbestos-related claims, including more than $2 million over the last three months.
Many of the asbestos lawsuits from the use of asbestos in joint compound, a construction sealant used until the late 1970s, according to court documents.
“Since the 1980s, these asbestos lawsuits have been coming little by little,” UGL spokeswoman Michele Margotta Neary said to The Times-Tribune. “We went into this financially sound with absolutely no debt. As far as we are concerned, it’s business as usual.”
In a traditional mesothelioma lawsuit, claims are made against defendants and are litigated in the courtroom. In a bankruptcy claim, on the other hand, you file a claim with a trust that has been set up by an asbestos manufacturer for the sole purpose of compensating asbestos victims.
While large settlements in a traditional mesothelioma lawsuit can threaten a company’s ability to stay in business, settlement trusts are set up to ensure that funds are available for future claims. In other words, the compensation you receive from a mesothelioma settlement trust will not diminish the amount available to pay an asbestos claimant who files later.
If you have mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, you may be eligible for compensation from an existing or future bankruptcy trust. Additionally, if you were exposed to multiple asbestos products that were made by different bankrupt companies, you may be eligible to file claims against multiple, separate trusts.
Please keep in mind that even if the statute of limitations has passed for a mesothelioma lawsuit, you still may be eligible to file a bankruptcy claim. To find out if you may be entitled to compensation from an asbestos settlement trust, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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