“Billion-dollar asbestos fight underway in Charlotte court”

An expert witness testifying on behalf of Garlock Sealing Technologies, a maker of gaskets and seals, says the company has already paid at least $1.3 billion in damages to asbestos claimants. The company is telling a bankruptcy court that its remaining liability amounts to a mere $125 million, but lawyers for claimants say that’s a pipe dream and that the actual figure is ten times that or more. The case offers a window into some economic dimensions of asbestos litigation. [Charlotte Observer, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine] A judge has declined to allow reporters access to some of the proceedings, including portions of testimony by Cardozo professor Lester Brickman outlining the role of what he says is pervasive fraud and double-claiming in asbestos claims. [LNL]


  • $124 Million = $41 Million in lawyer fees
    $1.25 Billion = $410 Million in lawyer fees

    Why the lawyers are fighting for this = priceless

  • The fees are actually $124 million=$56 million; $1.25 billion = $ 500,000,000 because most asbestos plaintiff-atty fee agreements in are for 40% and the expenses of the case come from the plaintiff’s portion “if there is a recovery”. The already existing bankruptcy trusts virtually assure a recovery in every instance from which the “expenses of litigation” will be complely covered. So the plaintiff attorneys make almost as much as each individual client. Since the lawyers have hundreds of cases, they obtain most of the economic benefit from the litigation. Many have built enormous personal wealth.