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Charlotte NorthCarolina – Asbestos Litigation – Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Garlock Sealing Technologies MovesToward a Permanent Resolution of Asbestos Litigation
- Business Will Continue to Operate Without Interruption
By: PR Newswire
Jun. 5, 2010 09:25 AM
PALMYRA,N.Y., June 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, a global leader in fluid-sealing products and a wholly owned subsidiary ofEnPro Industries, Inc. (NYSE: NPO), announced that it has taken a step toward a permanent resolution ofasbestos-related personal injury claims against the company. Today,Garlock filed a voluntary petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District ofNorth Carolina inCharlotte to establish a trust to resolve all current and future asbestos claims againstGarlock under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The filing includes the Garrison Litigation Management Group, Ltd., which managesGarlock's asbestos claims and relationships with its insurers, and The Anchor Packing Company, which ceased operations in the mid-1990s.
"With this action, we moved toward resolving asbestos claims against our company in a permanent, transparent and efficient manner," said DaleHerold, president ofGarlock Sealing Technologies. "We have begun a process that we believe will result in a comprehensive resolution of all current and future claims againstGarlock while preserving the value and protecting the future of our company and without interruption of our normal business operations."
Garlock previously manufactured products which contained asbestos. Despite the fact that the asbestos fibers were non-friable and encapsulated within the product,Garlock has defended claims regarding exposure to asbestos in gasket sealing products for 35 years.Garlock has processed more than 900,000 asbestos claims to conclusion (including judgments, settlements and dismissals) and, together with its insurers, has paid over $1.4 billion in settlements and judgments and over $400 million in fees and expenses.
Garlock anticipates that the process it initiated today will not disrupt service to customers, that suppliers will be paid in full, that employees will retain their salaries and benefits and that retiree pensions and other benefits will continue to be paid in the ordinary course.
Garlock has obtained $10 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from Bank of America, which, subject to court approval, would provide additional liquidity, if necessary, during the process.
Herold stated, "Garlock's cash flows should be sufficient for us to operate our business without interruption and to maintain our commitments to our employees, customers, and suppliers. The DIP financing would provide additional resources, should we need them. As we begin this process, we have complete confidence in the dedication of our employees, who are the core of our operation. We also greatly value our relationships with our customers and suppliers and appreciate their continuing support."
"Most importantly, we remain committed to excellence in all that we do. We will continue to be a safe and productive company, a good neighbor, a good place to work and a strong competitor," addedHerold.
Garlock will operate in the ordinary course under court protection from asbestos claimants while in the claims resolution process available under Chapter 11. All pending litigation againstGarlock will be stayed as the company seeks to develop and implement a court-approved plan to permanently resolve all asbestos-related claims.Garlock plans to negotiate with representatives of asbestos claimants to establish a trust to pay all valid claims. Absent a negotiated resolution,Garlock intends to ask the court to determine the amount necessary to fund the trust.
"This step is not an indication of current financial distress atGarlock,"Herold said. "Our company is strong. We believe we can fund a settlement trust in full with our own resources while maintaining our position as the leader in fluid sealing technology and preserving our opportunities for growth."
Steve Macadam, president and chief executive officer ofEnPro Industries, said, "We are completely committed toGarlock. It is a core investment, and we will continue to seek opportunities for growth in the markets it serves."
The filing covers onlyGarlock operations inPalmyra,New York andHouston,Texas.Garlock Rubber Technologies,GarlockHelicoflex,Pikotek,Technetics,Garlock Europe andGarlock operations inCanada,Mexico orAustralia are not affected by the filing, nor isEnPro Industries or any otherEnPro operating subsidiary.
AboutGarlock Sealing Technologies
Headquartered inPalmyra,NY,Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC is anEnPro Industries, Inc. company (NYSE: NPO). For more than a century,Garlock has been helping customers efficiently seal the toughest process fluids in the most demanding applications.
Statements in this release that express a belief, expectation or intention, as well as those that are not historical fact, are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "may," "hope," "will," "should," "could," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "intend," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue," and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events and developments and which do not relate to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events and results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:Garlock's ability to reach acceptable agreements with asbestos claimants and other creditors,Garlock's ability to obtain court approval for a proposed plan, unforeseen developments affectingGarlock's ability to pay creditors in full and adequately fund a trust to resolve all current and future asbestos claims. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement made in this release to reflect any change in management's expectations or any change in the assumptions or circumstances on which such statements are based.
SOURCEGarlock Sealing Technologies LLC
Published Jun. 5, 2010— Reads 105
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Charlotte NorthCarolina – $10 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Jury awards shipyard worker's widow $10M
Jul 27, 2006 | AP
A jury awarded $10.4 million to the widow of a former shipyard worker who died of lung cancer after four years of working with materials that contained asbestos.
The Newport News Circuit Court verdict in Wanda Jones' wrongful death lawsuit against three companies that manufactured the materials was handed down Wednesday, the first anniversary of the death of 60-year-old Buddy Jones.
"It's a mixed day," Wanda Jones said. "At least there's been some justice and recognition for what he went through, certainly through no fault of his own. He just went to work and did what he was trained to do on the job."
Her attorney, Robert Hatten, called the verdict a landmark because one-third of the judgment will come from John Crane Inc., which has refused to settle other asbestos cases.
"A lot of these companies now accept responsibility and settle these cases regularly," said the palntiff's attorney, who has represented thousands of shipyard workers exposed to asbestos. "I hope this verdict will make companies like John Crane change their corporate attitude."
Attorneys for John Crane, a unit of British manufacturer Smiths Group PLC, said the company's products could not have harmed workers.
"We defend cases because we believe in the safety of the product," attorney Ed Mueller said. "If you were sitting here right now, I'd take a piece out and put it around my neck and wear it home."
Mueller said the company, which stopped making products with asbestos in the 1980s, will appeal the verdict.
The judgment is split with two other companies: Denver's Johns Manville Corp., a unit of billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that makes roofing, insulation and other industrial materials; and Garlock Sealing Technologies, a Palmyra, N.Y., unit of EnPro Industries Inc. in Charlotte,North Carolina.
Buddy Jones wasdiagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos. Because the cancer can lie dormant for 20 to 50 years, some older shipyard workers are just realizing the effects of their asbestos exposure.
Dr. John C. Maddox testified at the three-week trial that he has seen about 500 mesothelioma patients in his practice atRiversideRegionalMedicalCenter.
Jones spent four years sealing pumps and making gaskets at Newport News Shipbuilding now Northrop Grumman Newport News in the 1960s before returning to college and becoming a computer programmer inRichmond. When he suddenly got sick in late 2004, his doctor thought it was pneumonia. Then he found the tumors in Jones' lungs. Jones died within a year.
The shipyard stopped using products containing asbestos the mid 1980s.