Shook, Hardy & Bacon Public Policy Co-Chair Mark Behrens has authored a U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform report titled “Disconnects and Double Dipping: The Case for Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency in Virginia,” which examines abuse in the state’s asbestos litigation. The report focuses on claims filed in Newport News, Virginia, which is the “epicenter of asbestos litigation in Virginia.”
The report exposes asbestos claims manipulation and other abusive practices by plaintiffs and their attorneys. It shows how many plaintiffs file claims in the tort system alleging exposures to certain products of solvent defendants, obtain a tort recovery, and then turn around and file asbestos bankruptcy trust claims with a broad range of insolvent defendants to collect additional recoveries under a separate compensation system. The report highlights inconsistencies between information provided in tort cases and to numerous asbestos bankruptcy trusts, identifying a clear need for transparency reforms.