EnPro Industries Estimates Liability for Mesothelioma Claims

Mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm announce that Garlock Sealing Technologies, a subsidiary of EnPro Industries, recently filed a pre-trial brief for its upcoming trial to determine liability for pending and future mesothelioma claims. One expert estimates the liability to be around $125 million.

This is about half the amount Garlock Sealing Technologies (GST) proposed in November 2011 in a former reorganization plan, though it is still a significant amount. Conversely, a representative for the Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants and Future Asbestos Claimants estimated the liability to be a whopping $1,260 million, more than 100 times GST’s estimate.

GST filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2010 to move toward permanent resolution of its asbestos exposure claims. The company manufactures fluid-sealing and gasket products, many of which contained asbestos. Bankruptcy would allow it to establish a trust to resolve current and future asbestos claims without litigation.

Trusts are typically set up so victims of the company’s asbestos exposure can potentially obtain their just financial compensation for any and all illnesses – such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis – that resulted from the exposure. GST’s bankruptcy filing also included the Anchor Packing Company, which was a subsidiary of GST (from 1987-1993) and manufactured asbestos-containing products as well, such as hydraulic packings and gaskets.

Since the late 1970s, when asbestos was publically recognized as a human carcinogen, GST has already processed more than 900,000 asbestos claims to conclusion. Together, the settlements and judgments have cost GST over $1.4 billion, with an additional $400 million in expenses and fees.

The new estimation trial is expected to begin in late July 2013 in North Carolina. The company currently has about 100,000 asbestos claims pending. Asbestos gaskets and packing were commonly used in pipes and machinery in industrial settings, such as navy bases, shipyards, chemicals plants and refineries. Those who may have been exposed to these dangerous products may include Navy veterans, as well as anyone employed in naval shipyards or vessels, those who worked in close proximity to packing materials (installations, distribution, or delivery of these products), and steamfitters or boilermen who worked with these products in high temperatures.

Claims of mesothelioma and asbestos-caused lung cancer are being pursued in such high numbers because of the insidious and devastating nature of the disease. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, killing about 3,000 Americans per year, but it is almost always fatal. When they are first diagnosed, patients are typically given less than one year to live.

Asbestos also takes anywhere between 20 and 50 years to manifest as cancer in the body, causing most patients to fail to realize the seriousness of their ailments until it is too late. One man, 75-year-old Billy Fletcher, was experiencing only mild back pain when he went to the doctor. After several weeks of incorrect diagnoses and an admission to the hospital for chest pain, he was diagnosed with stage IV pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is cancer of the lining of the lungs, and two weeks after diagnosis, Fletcher started chemotherapy treatment, and will potentially receive radiation therapy as well depending on his response. He and his family believe he was exposed to asbestos during his career as a long distance lorry truck driver, through conducting routine maintenance on his brakes, which often contained asbestos.

Asbestos exposure attorneys encourage anyone who worked with or around Garlock Sealing Technologies or Anchor Packing Company products and who developed a lung disease to contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to significant compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, or wrongful death.