Monthly Archives: September 2006
Thanks to a circuit judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., all asbestos lawsuits have come to a screeching halt. According to the Palm Beach Post, Judge Timothy McCarthy said he would not hear another case until the question of where the lawsuits should be filed is answered. After a “rancorous” two and 1/2 hour hearing on whether to dismiss of transfer 72 asbestos-related claims filed by a Miami law firm on behalf of citizens in Alabama and other parts of Florida.
Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are sought after filing locations because each has a separate asbestos division and case management system that forces 99 percent of claims into settlements, the article says.
Two of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the oil, gas, construction and engineering industries won court approval of a restructuring plan that allots a large chunk of money for asbestos-claims settlements, says Bloomberg.
Halliburton Co.’s DII Industries and Kellogg Brown & Root, which handles the engineering and construction services for Halliburton, were approved for a restructuring plan that includes a $4.2 billion settlement of asbestos claims.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh approved the plan, along with the almost 400,000 claimants suing the company.
Most asbestos lawsuits against Halliburton stemmed from its 1998 $6.2 billion purchase of Dresser Industries, which was renamed DII, says Bloomberg.
The Oregonian reports asbestos has turned a Klammath Falls neighborhood into a nightmare.
The families of this wooded subdivision say that when they moved in they didn’t know the developer had buried tons of asbestos-laden debris here and left more on their land.
Broken pieces of tile, siding and roofing that contain asbestos — as big as a hand or as small as a dime — push up through the frost-cracked ground and mingle with the dirt.
"We thought we had found our house in paradise," said Richard Gibson, who with his wife, Susan, lives in a home once valued at $193,200. "We put all of our chips in. Now it’s worth nothing."
A cavalcade of agencies through the years discovered problems at North Ridge Estates, but it didn’t make a difference.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality failed to police the developer despite concerns about asbestos disposal practices at the site nearly 25 years ago. Two other agencies — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Klamath County — failed to draw attention to potential problems at the site.