RPM International Inc., the makers of Rust-Oleum paint, settled an asbestos lawsuit this week for $797.5 million. The lawsuit was brought against Bondex International Inc., a unit of RPM.
According to reports, Bondex filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after a series of personal injury lawsuits. If the court approves the asbestos settlement, it would put a stop to Bondex’s bankruptcy, which currently mandates that they pay around $1.2 billion to resolve outstanding asbestos lawsuits.
With the new agreement, RPM would now be required to give $450 million to an asbestos trust fund, which would come after a reorganization plan is determined for Bondex. The remaining $347.5 is to be paid out in cash, stocks, or a combination of both. The new agreement mandates that RPM pay the remaining amount within two to fours years after the trust fund has been set up. In turn, any and all future asbestos lawsuits against Bondex will be directed to the trust fund.
Along with Bondex, another RPM unit, Specialty Products Holding Co., filed bankruptcy in 2010 after an influx of asbestos lawsuits. Plaintiffs claim the company’s joint compound, among other products, contained asbestos, which led to life-threatening illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma.
Meanwhile, Bondex had several disagreements with the attorneys representing the plaintiffs and stated that the sum of $1.25 billion was an unfair amount, given that Bondex had already paid out in other settlements in the understanding that it would eliminate additional asbestos lawsuits. Yet, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Judith Fitzgerald rejected Bondex’s argument in 2013. Yet, now that she is retired, the case has been sent to Judge Peter Walsh.
According to RPM, they expect their contributions to the trust fund to be tax-deductible.
Asbestos-containing products, such as the ones both Bondex and Specialty Products have been associated with, have been linked to a series of health complications. There has been an abundance of asbestos-related lawsuits in the past decade alone, with many companies being mandated to set aside billions in trust funds for future victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos to asbestos due to the negligence of a company, manufacturer, or any other responsible party, you may be entitled compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
There is currently more than $30 billion in asbestos trust funds awaiting those who’ve been injured due to negligence. For more information and for a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our leading, experienced mesothelioma and asbestos law firm today.
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