Asbestos Bankruptcy Conference
Charles Bates, PhD, President and Senior Partner at Bates White, LLC, participated in a panel discussion on estimations of asbestos liabilities. Dr. Bates discussed the variations that exist among current estimation methodologies that are due to differences in the contexts for which the estimates are required. He discussed how future unknown variables, such as tort reform, methods of handling nonmalignant claims filings, and trust funds, complicate the task of developing estimates that are more than a few years out.
Bates and Partner Charlie Mullin, PhD, have written a related paper, “Having Your Tort And Eating It Too?” which was recently published in Mealey′s Litigation Report: Asbestos and Mealey′s Asbestos Bankruptcy Report and which was distributed at the conference. This paper discusses the potential for claimant “double dipping” in the evolving trust and tort environment. Over $35 billion hangs on the question of whether the money that claimants receive from the new 524(g) trusts will serve as an offset to their tort claims.