Shook Public Policy Co-Chair Mark Behrens has contributed to a Corporate Disputes expert roundtable on "Managing Asbestos Claims and Litigation," which explores case developments and risk-mitigation strategies for companies facing asbestos-related lawsuits. Among other things, the panel considers significant rulings such as the 2014 federal bankruptcy court decision involving Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, and other high-profile cases, as well as new claims targeting "the makers of uninsulated products in 'bare metal' form" to which asbestos-containing insulation is attached by third parties after sale.
"Plaintiffs' lawyers are also claiming that manufacturers of products, such as pumps and valves, that originally came with asbestos-containing gaskets or packing should have warned about potential harms from exposure to replacement internal gaskets or packing or replacement external flange gaskets manufactured and sold by third parties," explains Behrens. "Consistent with traditional tort law principles, the clear majority rule is that a manufacturer is not responsible for asbestos-containing products made or sold by third parties. Cases are pending in the highest courts of asbestos litigation epicenters New York and Maryland."