Maker of Rust-Oleum Paints to Fund Trust for Asbestos Victims
04/18/2011 // Chicago, IL, USA // Mesothelioma Lawyers – Cooney & Conway // Cooney & Conway
A lawyer for two bankrupt subsidiaries of RPM International Inc., maker of Rust-Oleum paint, told a bankruptcy judge on March 28 that RPM will contribute an undetermined sum to a trust for asbestos victims.
Some 10,000 asbestos lawsuits were pending in the courts against the RPM subsidiaries—Specialty Products Holding Corp. and Bondex International Inc.—when they filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2010.
Asbestos—which was present in a number of Bondex products sold between 1966 and 1977—has been linked to deadly diseases, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive and incurable form of cancer that strikes the protective lining covering many of the body’s organs.
Specialty was the holding company that owned Bondex and several other manufacturers of coatings and specialty chemicals. In all, approximately 15,000 asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits were filed against Specialty.
Mesothelioma lawsuits, in particular, can prove costly for defendants in court. The disease is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is invariably fatal, with many victims succumbing within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis.
Over the years, mesothelioma lawyers have been successful in obtaining large—and often multimillion-dollar—verdicts and settlements from manufacturers of asbestos-laden products. Because mesothelioma is typically triggered many years after asbestos exposure, litigation can—and frequently does—occur decades after those products have been discontinued.
Specialty and Bondex filed for bankruptcy in 2010 without saying how they would fund an asbestos trust. Since that filing, Specialty has been fighting for access to data regarding how much money asbestos victims have received when harmed by non-Bondex products. The company has said it hopes to use that data to calculate how much it might owe to settle the asbestos claims it still faces.
During the bankruptcy proceedings, the judge hearing the case, Judith K. Fitzgerald, has asked whether RPM would contribute to a trust to cover medical and other costs associated with asbestos exposure.
Gregory Gordon, the lawyer for Specialty and Bondex, told Judge Fitzgerald that before RPM can commit to a specific amount, the subsidiaries must negotiate the size of the trust with the mesothelioma lawyers representing the asbestos victims.
*This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we’ve brought relief—and recovery—to those injured by the negligence or harmful actions of others. In the process, we’ve litigated some of the country’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, helping victims of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases get answers—and justice.
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