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Garlock, Coltec announce settlement plan for asbestos claims

The law firm representing several asbestos litigation defendants has announced a settlement plan that will affect existing and future claims by persons who suffered various asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. The plan involves product liability claims against Garlock Sealing Technologies, Anchor Packing Company, and Coltec Industries, who are collectively referred to as the "Debtors," for damages caused by exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured or used in the products of these companies.

The plan applies to individuals who worked with high pressure steam and hot liquid pipes where asbestos was used in the manufacture of valve and joint gaskets and packing. Specifically, the plan affects claims by persons who "[w]orked with or around Garlock asbestos-containing gaskets or packing, Coltec equipment with asbestos components, or any other asbestos-containing product for which Debtors are responsible." The plan also affects persons who "[h]ave a claim now or in the future against the Debtors for asbestos-related disease caused by any person's exposure to asbestos-containing products."

According to the plan, the Debtors will establish a trust fund of $480 million dollars. All present and future claims against the debtors must be filed with the trust. The plan bars current and future separate court actions against the Debtors. The plan replaces an earlier plan that was rejected by the claimants because it did not contain sufficient funding to pay claimants for their damages. The new plan must also be approved by the claimants before it becomes effective.

Anyone who has worked with or around asbestos-containing products manufactured by Garlock, Coltec, Fairbanks Morse, Quincy Compressor, Central Moloney, Delavan France Compressor or Farnam may be affected by this settlement. Consulting a lawyer who specializes in asbestos claim litigation can answer most questions about eligibility and the likelihood of recovering damages from the trust for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Source: Edmonton Journal, "Garlock and Coltec Bankruptcy Affects Individuals Who Worked Around Gaskets, Packing, or Equipment Containing Asbestos," Aug. 29, 2016

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