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Houston Tax – Asbestos Bankruptcy – Asbestos Claims
EnPro unit files for bankruptcy over asbestos claims
Mon Jun 7, 2010 10:45am EDT
June 7 (Reuters) - Diesel and dual-fuel engine maker EnPro Industries Inc (NPO.N) said its Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a North Carolina court to resolveasbestos-related personal injury claims.
All pending litigations will be stayed as Garlock seeks to develop and implement a court-approved plan to permanently resolve all asbestos-related claims, it said in a statement on Saturday.
"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," the company said.
Garlock said that so far, it has processed more than 900,000 asbestos claims to conclusion and, together with its insurers, has paid over $1.4 billion in settlements and judgments and more than $400 million in fees and expenses.
"The filing covers only Garlock operations inPalmyra,New York andHouston,Texas," the company said.
"Garlock Rubber Technologies, Garlock Helicoflex, Pikotek, Technetics, Garlock Europe and Garlock operations inCanada,Mexico orAustralia are not affected by the filing, nor is EnPro Industries or any other EnPro operating subsidiary."
However, the filing includes the Garrison Litigation Management Group Ltd, which manages Garlock's asbestos claims and relationships with its insurers, and The Anchor Packing Co, which ceased operations in the mid-1990s.
In court papers, Garlock listed assets in the $500 million to $1 billion range and debt in the $100 million to $500 million range.
The company has obtained $10 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to continue operations while in bankruptcy.
In a separate statement, EnPro said Garlock contributed about $149 million of third party sales and $20 million of segment operating income to its results in 2009.
Garlock, which was founded in 1887 inPalmyra,New York, produces and sells high performance fluid-sealing products, including gaskets and compression packing used in internal piping and valve assemblies in numerous industries. It employs about 600 people.
Earlier this month, two units of RPM International Inc (RPM.N) also filed for bankruptcy to resolve asbestos-related lawsuits.
Asbestos, once widely used in manufacturing, has been banned by theU.S. government after it was proven to cause cancer, often in people who were exposed by breathing in asbestos particles.
The case is In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina (Charlotte), No. 10-31607. (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir inBangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
HoustonTexas – 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 of North 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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Houston – Asbestos Exposure –Nonoccupational Asbestos
The New Menace of Mesothelioma Resulting fromNonoccupational Asbestos Exposure
Posted: May 17, 2010
The development of asbestos related disease in workers has been closely studied for some time. However,anew wave of mesothelioma cases are emerging from the spouses of workers that were exposed to this hazardous material. One important study is called, "Asbestos-Related Disease from Household Exposure" by Gary R.Epler,Muiris X. Fitz Gerald, Edward A.Gaensler, Charles B. Carrington - Respiration 1980;39:229-240. Here is an excerpt: "Abstract - The importance ofnonoccupational asbestos exposure has been emphasized recently. To illustrate this problem, we report 4 persons with asbestos-related disease from household exposure. There were 2 wives of asbestos workers, who cleaned their husbands' work clothes. One developed amesothelioma and the other plaques, calcification, benign asbestos pleural effusion andsubpleuralparenchymal fibrosis. 2 men were exposed as children while playing in a cellar room which was also used for their father's muffler repair business. At ages 27 and 33, they had pleural and diaphragmatic calcifications."
Another study worth examining is called, "Asbestos induces apoptosis in human alveolar macrophages" by R. F. Hamilton, L. L.Iyer and A.Holian - Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical School,Houston77030,USA. Am JPhysiol Lung Cell MolPhysiol 271: L813-L819,1996. Here is an excerpt: "Asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals implicated in the development of several lung diseases, including fibrosis (asbestosis), cancer, and malignantmesothelioma. Although major health risks exist in occupationally exposed individuals, low-level exposures of asbestos may still contribute to health problems. The mechanism by which asbestos causes lung disease is not clearly understood but has been proposed to involve the alveolar macrophage (AM). We propose that asbestos inducesapoptosis of AM, resulting in the development of an inflammatory state.
In this study, we examined two forms of asbestos,chrysotile (CHR) andcrocidolite (CRO), along with a control fiber,wollastonite (WOL), to characterize their relativecytotoxicity and ability to stimulate apoptosis in vitro. AM were cultured for 24 h with these particulates and examined for cell viability (trypan blue exclusion) and apoptosis (morphology, levels ofcytosolicoligonucleosomal DNA fragments, and DNA ladder). In the absence of a decrease in cell viability, both CHR and CRO produced changes in cell morphology consistent with apoptosis. In addition, levels ofcytoplasmicoligonucleosomal DNA (Cell Death Detection enzyme-linkedimmunosorbent assay) were significantly enhanced for CHR (3-25 micrograms/ml) and CRO (25-75 micrograms/ml) in a dose-dependent manner (a process that wasinhibitable by 10microM Z-Val-Ala-Aspfluoromethylketone, an interleukin-converting enzyme inhibitor). In contrast, WOL (up to 400 micrograms/ml) produced no significant DNA fragmentation in a 24-h culture. Neither CHR nor CRO caused DNA ladder formation in 24-h cell cultures. However, in 48-h cell cultures, both CHR- and CRO-exposed cells, but not WOL, resulted in the formation of DNA ladders characteristic of apoptosis. In summary, these results suggest that, unlikenonfibrogenic particulates, low doses of asbestos fibers cause apoptosis in cultured human AM that may be an early step in the development of lung fibrosis."
A third study is called, "Iron mobilization fromcrocidolite asbestos greatly enhancescrocidolite-dependent formation of DNA single-strand breaks in øX174 RFI DNA" by Loren G. Lund and Ann E.Aust - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University Logan, UT 84322–0300, USA. Here is an excerpt: "The ability of the iron associated with asbestos to catalyze damage to øX174 RFI DNA was determined and compared with iron mobilized from asbestos. Asbestos (1 mg/ml) suspended for 30 min in 50mMNaCl containing 0.5 µg øX174 RFI DNA, pH 7.5, did not catalyze detectable amounts of DNA single-strand breaks (SSB). However, additionofoascorbate (1mM) resulted in 19, 26, 7 or 8% DNA with SSB forcrocidolite,amosite,chrysotile ortremolite respectively. The percentage of DNA with SSB induced by each form of asbestos was directly related to its iron content. Inclusion ofdesferrioxamine B, which bindsFe(III) rendering itredox inactive, completely inhibited asbestos-dependent formation of DNA SSB, suggesting that iron was responsible for catalyzing the formation of DNA SSB. Mobilization ofFe(II) fromcrocidolite by citrate, EDTA ornitrikrtriacetate (1mM) in the absence ofascorbate resulted in 15, 33 or 63% DNA with SSB respectively.
This activity was completely inhibited by compounds considered to be OH scavengers, i.e.mannitol, 5, 5-dimethyl-l-pyroline N-oxide orsalicylate (100mM).Preincubation ofcrocidolite with citrate (1mM) for 24 h resulted in mobilization of 52 µMiron and increasedascorbate-dependent induction of DNA SSB compared withcrocidolite that waspreincubated without citrate. Iron mobilized by citrate was entirely responsible forcrocidolite-dependent formation of DNA SSB as evidenced by complete inhibition withdesferrioxamine B. Therefore, the results of the present study strongly suggest that iron was responsible for asbestos-dependent generation of oxygen radicals, which resulted in the formation of DNA SSB. Mobilization of iron bychelators, followed byredox cycling, greatly enhancedcrocidolite-dependent formation of DNA SSB. Thus, mobilization of iron in vivo by low mol. wtchelators may lead to the increased production of reactive oxygen species resulting in damage tobiomolecules, such as DNA."
If you found any of these excerpts, please read them in their entirety. We all owe a debt of gratitude to these researchers.
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/cancer-articles/the-new-menace-of-mesothelioma-resulting-from-nonoccupational-asbestos-exposure-2389604.html#ixzz0q0IlgwKL
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Houston Texas – Asbestos Related Deaths
Camco Is 6th In Asbestos Deaths
Study predicts number of cases will increase
Mar 4, 2004 |Cherry Hill Courier Post
A new study ranksCamdenCounty as having the sixth-mostasbestos-related deaths in the nation.
Only counties with major citiesLos Angeles,Chicago,Philadelphia,Seattle andHouston had more deaths, according to the analysis of government health statistics by the Environmental Working Group.
In effect, the study suggests many of the region's elderly residents, the shipyard, refinery and factory workers of the past are paying with their health for the region's industrial might.
Jack Higgins was a longtimeCamden city resident and worked in maintenance departments at twoCamden shipyards and RCA. He was 80 when he died in 1997.
"You had to sit and watch the body deteriorate while the mind was sharp as a tack. It was heartbreaking," said his son, Timothy Higgins, aCollingswood attorney. He added his father had to use bottled oxygen the last years of his life.
"He would describe it as if he were drowning, like he was under water and couldn't breathe," Higgins said.
Camden County, which had an estimated 458 to 532 deaths between 1979 and 2001, even ranked just ahead of Somerset County, once home to the largest asbestos manufacturing plant in North America, owned by the Johns-Manville Corp.
The analysis, released today by the Washington, D.C.-based group, predicts the number of deaths will continue to rise as latency periods for some of the most serious forms of asbestos-related diseases end.
The analysis of government statistics lists 10 otherNew Jersey counties among the top 100 with the most asbestos-related deaths.GloucesterCounty ranked 50th andBurlingtonCounty is 59th.
Gregg Shivers is aCherry Hill lawyer whose firm has represented some 2,000 asbestos-related injury cases over the past 15 years.
He was surprised byCamdenCounty's high ranking, but said large numbers of county residents once worked in industries that used or made asbestos.
Camden's now-defunct New York Shipyard, for example, used asbestos in ship insulation, and Owens-Corning once manufactured asbestos insulation inBerlin, he said.
Anthony Olivo, 83, is a longtime Deptford resident. He worked around asbestos for 40 years as a pipe welder.
He says he has been coping well with the asbestosis, scarring of the lungs, that he contracted from decades of exposure. But he feels deeply responsible for the death of his wife, Eleanor, of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked directly to asbestos.
She died at the age of 82, less than two years after her diagnosis. She was exposed to the fibers from washing her husband's work clothes.
"Had I known, I would have thrown the clothes away and put a new set of clothes on," he said, crying in the living room of their small Cape Cod cottage where his wife spent her last days.
"I don't know why the good Lord didn't give it back to me. She didn't deserve what she got," he said.
The study comes at a time when Congress is debating financial bailout plans for asbestos manufacturers and their insurers.
Asbestos use and exposure peaked in the mid-1970s, the study said.
At that time, more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products contained asbestos, asbestos factories were polluting neighborhoods, workers were exposed on the job and bringing asbestos fibers home to their families. Asbestos was also widely used in many buildings, including factories and schools.
But asbestos-related diseases have a 20- to 50-year latency period, meaning a substantial portion of those exposed in the 1960s and 1970s are just now getting sick or showing up in government statistics, the study concludes.
Shivers expects an increase in the numbers of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases his firm will handle over the next decade because of the long latency periods for these diseases.
During the study period, at least 43,000 Americans died from mesothelioma and asbestosis. But the Environmental Working Group maintains the number could be much higher.
"The actual number of deaths from these two diseases could easily be twice as high due to chronic misdiagnoses of both diseases and the absence of federal tracking for mesothelioma for nearly all of the time period analyzed," the study reported.
The study adds that lung cancer deaths from asbestos exposure are not reported at all and asbestosis, a non-cancer disease, is still "dramatically underreported, even in worker populations where asbestos exposure is well established."
The federal government banned many uses of asbestos in the early 1980s, including use in ranges and ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, deep fryers, electric blankets and popcorn poppers.
At the same time, asbestos remains widely used in brake shoes and roofing products, and can still be found in a number of other products, including cement wallboard, heating duct insulation, boiler insulation, vinyl floor tile and sheet flooring and pipe insulation, the study asserts. It also notes that these products are not required to be labeled as containing asbestos. The group is looking for a complete ban.
Cherry Hill Courier Post