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Trends in the Asbestos Bankruptcies: Do the figures truly represent what is going on?

Rear-view-mirror-caption add.jpgWHAT ARE THE REAL FACTS IN THE WORLD OF ASBESTOS CLAIMS AND WHAT IS ILLUSION? Studies indicate that asbestos payments increased 75% in the past year. This is true; however, the data used to make this determination also indicates a substantial change in the claim disease mix. In other words, this increase is not based on a per disease level increase. What has happened is that there are significantly fewer non-malignant claims being resolved and a larger percentage of malignancies, which have a much larger claim value, being paid. The average number of claims resolved reached its peak in 2006 and has steadily declined since. The average number of claims resolved dropped 31% in 2011. A larger percentage of this reduced number is for claimants with mesothelioma and other malignancies. The actual claim payment percentage is typically decreased upon the trust’s periodic review.

A few of the noteworthy reductions in payment percentages

  • Babcock & Wilcox initial payment percentage was 34% current payment percentage is 11.9%
  • C.E. Thurston initial payment percentage was 40% current payment percentage is 25%
  • Lummus initial payment percentage was 100% current payment percentage is 10%
  • National Gypsum (NGC) initial payment percentage was 55.6% current payment percentage is 18%
  • Fibreboard OCFB initial payment percentage was 25% current payment percentage is 9.5%
  • Owens Corning initial payment percentage was 40% current payment percentage is 10%
  • U.S. Gypsum initial payment percentage was 45% current payment percentage is 30%
  • UNR initial payment percentage was 18.6% current payment percentage is 0.8%

Commercials on television and radio highlight that there is $30,000,000,000.00 (30 billion dollars) in the bankruptcy trusts to be disbursed.

Fact: There is actually approximately $18 billion currently in the trust system that is available for payouts. The other approximately $12 billion is designated for trusts still pending confirmation or completion. Claims can NOT be filed with a trust until the process has been completed. Additionally, this inflated; attention grabbing number is much less impressive when you take into account that it must be divided up amongst the estimated 500,000 claimants and the fact that the greater amount of the monies are allocated to claimants with mesothelioma, followed by the lung cancer claimants then other cancers and finally, what usually is any of four (4) non-malignant levels.

Filing claims and the medical and exposure criterion for approval continues to become more and more difficult and the payment percentage has continues to be reduced. As with all statistical data, it is subject to personal interpretation. It takes a review of ALL the data and ALL the facts to be accurately and adequately informed.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos related condition, we can help you. Preserve your legal rights before time runs out. Our experienced Florida asbestos lawyers at Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of individuals stricken with mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.

medical reference books.jpgREFERENCES:

Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation 2011 Update

Asbestos Payments per Resolved Claim Increase 75% in the Past Year – Is This Increase as Dramatic as it Sounds?

Asbestos Bankruptcy Report – Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: A 2012 Overview of Trust Assets, Compensation & Governance

RAND Institute For Civil Justice