Behrens and Silverman Discuss Significant Asbestos Ruling in For the Defense

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Public Policy Partners Mark Behrens and Cary Silverman have co-authored an article titled “The Garlock Bankruptcy Order and What It Means for Defense Counsel” appearing in the May 2014 issue of DRI’s For the Defense. The article analyzes a January 2014 North Carolina bankruptcy court ruling that focused on how “settlements of mesothelioma claims in the tort system were ‘infected by the manipulations of exposure evidence by plaintiffs and their lawyers’” and “had the effect of unfairly inflating the recoveries” against a gasket and packing manufacturer. The court estimated that the company’s liability for pending and future mesothelioma claims was some $1 billion less than the $1-1.3 billion requested by plaintiff committees. Behrens and Silverman discuss how the opinion can be expected to affect similar litigation pending before other courts, and, claiming that “[t]he frank language and documented abuses” in the court’s order are already rippling through the legal profession and media, they conclude that it “is a must-read for asbestos defense counsel and should be brought to the attention of judges in asbestos cases and policymakers.”