Behrens and Knapp Dorell Co-Author Article about Garlock’s Effect on Asbestos Litigation

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Mark Behrens and Staff Attorney Virginia Knapp Dorell have co-authored an article titled “Garlock Bankruptcy Judge: Asbestos Settlements ‘Infected With the Impropriety of Some Law Firms’” for the International Association of Defense Counsel’s second April 2014 issue of the Product Liability Committee Newsletter. The article discusses In re Garlock Sealing Tech., LLC, 504 B.R. 71 (W.D.N.C. Bankr. 2014), and its effects on asbestos litigation. Judge George Hodges found that plaintiffs’ attorneys had withheld exposure evidence and misrepresented the amount of damages that plaintiffs had received or were eligible to claim from trusts established by other companies that had manufactured products with asbestos. This misrepresentation resulted in inflated damages against Garlock in several cases. The article advises defense counsel to educate judges and policymakers about the Garlock ruling and suggests that it may be used to compel the production of trust claims submissions to determine if the plaintiff had alternate exposure to products with asbestos.