EnPro Industries, Inc., an engineering company that’s been the center of numerous asbestos lawsuits, agreed to settle all pending and future cases for $480 million. The settlement applies to EnPro and all of the company’s subsidiaries.
The Charlotte Business Journal reports that EnPro reached the settlement agreement with the court-appointed committee, which will handle all of the company’s asbestos-related cases, and will include eliminating a pending $25 million case against EnPro.
The settlement will also handle any cases against the EnPro subsidiary Garlock Sealing Technology, LLC (GST). According to EnPro president Steve Macadam, the new agreement will bring a full stop to any asbestos cases against the company.
“This comprehensive, consensual settlement will bring us full, complete and permanent relief from asbestos litigation and will achieve complete and total peace with the asbestos plaintiff’s bar.”
The $48 million will be put into an asbestos trust fund, to be disbursed to those who developed asbestos-related illnesses due to EnPro’s products.
A total of $400 is to be deposited into the trust fund immediately by EnPro, and another $80 million by the trust fund’s first anniversary.
Along with the money for the asbestos trust fund, EnPro will also provide $17 million for all pending and future Canadian asbestos claims. The funds for Canada are for Canadian asbestos injury recovery statutes for claims made by people who were exposed asbestos via GST or EnPro’s other subsidiary, Coltec.
According to court documents, numerous asbestos-related claims have already been filed against Coltec, and thousands of these cases are still pending. The company’s insurance company has spent millions while trying to defend Coltec, but with the new settlement agreement, all pending and future cases against Coltec will be taken care of.
More About Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos trust funds are bankruptcy trusts set up after a company files for bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows these companies to set up trust funds after being approved for bankruptcy reorganization.
Once approved, companies such as EnPro, that have mounting asbestos-related lawsuits against them and anticipate future cases to follow, will put money into the trust funds. The funds are then distributed to plaintiffs who file lawsuits after being harmed by asbestos due to the company’s negligence.
Not everyone can file against companies that have asbestos trust funds set up. Just like any other lawsuit, you must show evidence that you have an asbestos-related disease, in addition to evidence that shows that the illness came from the company’s negligence.
Yet, trust funds are also different than traditional mesothelioma lawsuits in several ways.
For instance, a mesothelioma lawsuit involves the plaintiff filing a personal injury case or a wrongful death case. Furthermore, while lawsuits are either settled or sent to trial, trust fund claims are decided by trustees who handle the funds on behalf of the companies who set them up.
In some states, plaintiffs are allowed to file both a mesothelioma lawsuit and a trust fund claim, but keep in mind that doing so may reduce the amount of compensation you’ll receive. An experienced asbestos attorney can help you understand which course of action works best for your particular case.
For more information on trust funds, visit our article, Mesothelioma Trust Funds.
Additional Assistance and Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved have mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in trusts set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.
We invite you to use our Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma lawyer in your area. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.