Over the past 40 years, asbestos-related litigation has forced over 100 companies into bankruptcy — devastating workers, retirees, and entire communities. Some project the total cost of asbestos claims at more than $260 billion. Plaintiffs’ attorneys efforts to target companies that had little to do with the manufacture or supply of asbestos-containing products contributes to this astounding figure.  Read More...

An avalanche of asbestos claims has led to the creation of numerous bankruptcy trust funds, which were intended to allow businesses to restructure while providing compensation to affected individuals. Unfortunately, each trust operates completely independently and opaquely, hiding information from other trusts and defendant companies. This lack of transparency fosters an environment ripe for waste, fraud, and abuse, and the unsurprising result has been a significant decline in resources for victims.

Four U.S. senators have introduced the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act, a bill that aims to protect future asbestos victims by implementing necessary reforms to the bankruptcy trust system. Plaintiffs’ lawyers often double-dip by making multiple, inconsistent claims against companies and trusts on behalf of their clients. The PROTECT Act would strengthen the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to investigate double-dipping and other misconduct of asbestos claims while shining much-needed light on the operations of asbestos trusts.

Genuine reforms will protect job-creating businesses from abusive lawsuits and ensure that legitimate victims receive the compensation they deserve.


Suggested Resources

  • Dubious Distribution: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Assets and Compensation

    Dubious Distribution: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Assets and Compensation

    March 08, 2018

    The asbestos bankruptcy trusts, created with the goal of sustainably processing and paying valid asbestos personal injury claims, are quickly being depleted. ILR's research finds that of the 35 asbestos trusts operating as of early 2008, 21 are paying an average of 40 percent less today than in 2008, putting future compensation for asbestos victims in doubt. The paper documents the causes of this rapid depletion, including the highly significant impact of attorney contingency fees. Read More

  • On the Edge: New York County Asbestos Litigation at a Tipping Point

    On the Edge: New York County Asbestos Litigation at a Tipping Point

    August 03, 2017

    This report examines the history and current state of the New York County Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) unit of New York City's state trial court. The analysis concludes that the procedural features that have driven verdicts and settlements higher than those in other jurisdictions are likely to continue under the Revised Case Management Order, absent fresh judicial interpretation and methods of implementation that correct current problems. Read More

All Results for Asbestos

  1. First asbestos trials on Zoom marred by distracted jurors and technical problems

    August 19, 2020 | News

    Jurors were working on other things, joking with plaintiffs and possibly even napping during the first asbestos trials held in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic, leading the defense to ask for a mistrial, according to a report in Legal Newsline.... Read More

  2. Judge Warns Upcoming Asbestos Trial Will Be A 'Dreadful Experience' Due To COVID And Urges Parties To Settle

    July 23, 2020 | News

    In a notice issued July 21, First Circuit Judge Ronald E. Wilson warned those involved in an upcoming consolidated asbestos trial during COVID will be "a dreadful experience" and is urging parties to settle according to a report in Legal Newsline.... Read More

  3. Iowa Forces Asbestos Lawyers to Rein In Certain Practices

    June 04, 2020 | News

    Iowa is now the first state to pass a law that reins in a particular practice on the part of asbestos lawyers, according to a report in Legal Newsline.... Read More

  4. South Carolina Judge Handling Asbestos Lawsuits Is Accused Of Plaintiff-Friendly Bias

    May 15, 2020 | News

    Asbestos defendants have increasingly voiced complaints about the judge in charge of South Carolina's asbestos docket as she has overruled jury verdicts, ordered simultaneous trials in multiple counties and named an insurance company the "alter ego" of a long-defunct contracting company, according to a report in Legal Newsline... Read More

  5. In The News Today - April 23, 2020

    April 23, 2020 | News

    Johnson & Johnson Seeks New Punitive Damages Trial Following $750 Million Award in Talc Lawsuit:... Read More

  6. In The News Today - April 15, 2020

    April 15, 2020 | News

    Report Shows Steady Production of Asbestos Lawsuits in 2019... Read More

  7. Asbestos Ruling in Penn. Ignores Science and Hurts Defendants

    April 02, 2020 | News

    On Feb. 19, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a long-awaited decision in Roverano v. John Crane, Inc. The decision addressed the jury's apportionment of liability on a percentage basis in strict liability asbestos cases, as well as the inclusion of bankrupt entities on the verdict sheet, according to an expert analysis in Law 360.... Read More

  8. In the News today - March 31, 2020

    March 31, 2020 | News

    Virginia's New Law Changes Clock For Asbestos Plaintiffs, And Overturns Supreme Court Decision.... Read More

  9. In the News Today - February 28, 2020

    February 27, 2020 | News

    A recent study found that many New York lawyers are hiding facts in asbestos cases.... Read More

  10. Law Firm Trying to Undermine Efforts to Reduce Asbestos Case Backlogs

    February 26, 2020 | News

    One of Baltimore's most powerful law firms is using its political muscle to put an end to a hugely successful court procedure that ensures justice for victims, not paydays for plaintiffs' lawyers, writes ILR President Harold Kim in The Baltimore Sun.... Read More