On May 24, 2013 there was an important development as regards the Pittsburgh Corning (commonly referred to as “PC” in the litigation) asbestos bankruptcy, which has now dragged on for 13 years.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, “Pittsburgh Corning’s asbestos legal woes grinding on — Appeals, number of claimants keep Pittsburgh Corning’s asbestos bankruptcy grinding through the court system”:
The reorganization plan signed May 24 by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Judith Fitzgerald clears the way for creation of $3.5 billion trust that will assume Pittsburgh Corning’s asbestos-related liabilities and pay out the claims. The two companies that own Pittsburgh Corning — PPG Industries and Corning Inc. — will contribute millions of dollars to the trust and eventually give up their stakes in the company….
More than 400,000 asbestos-related lawsuits named the company as a defendant. Pittsburgh Corning settled about 200,000 before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, saying the remaining cases could exhaust its assets….
Under the final plan proposed for Pittsburgh Corning, PPG would pay about $825 million to the trust through 2023 along with 1.4 million shares of PPG stock or the cash equivalent. Corning would pay $290 million for the next six years. Their insurers would kick in $1.7 billion.
As the approved bankruptcy plan stands now, the Pittsburgh Corning (PC) Asbestos Trust payments are expected to cover about 37 percent of their claims, i.e., the PC Trust would pay 37 cents-on-the-dollar of the full value of an asbestos disease claim, such as a mesothelioma case.
However, unfortunately, it is likely that insurance companies for Pittsburgh Corning will appeal before a U.S. District Court judge gives the PC Asbestos Trust plan final confirmation — meaning that the hundreds of thousands of asbestos claimants will have to wait even longer for payments, possibly into next year, 2014.
Meanwhile, while the legal wrangling continues, more asbestos workers with claims against Pittsburgh Corning — for exposure to PC’s Unibestos pipe insulation that was manufactured from 1964 to 1972, as one example — will die before they receive any payment to compensate them for their asbestos disease.
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