Garlock and Coltec Bankruptcy Affects Individuals Who Worked Around Gaskets, Packing, or Equipment Containing Asbestos
PR Newswire – Charlotte, NC - August 29, 2016
There is a bankruptcy involving claims about exposure to asbestos-containing gaskets, packing, and equipment. Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, The Anchor Packing Company, and Garrison Litigation Management Group, Ltd., along with representatives of asbestos claimants, have filed a new plan of reorganization (the “Plan”). Coltec Industries Inc is also part of the Plan. If claimants approve the Plan, Coltec will merge with a company known as OldCo, LLC, and that company will file a bankruptcy case. Together, these companies are referred to as the “Debtors.”
The gaskets and packing were used in places where steam, hot liquid, or acids moved through pipes, including industrial and maritime settings. The equipment included compressors, engines, pumps, transformers, and other equipment that may have had asbestos-containing components, such as gaskets or packing. The Coltec-related divisions or businesses that may have sold asbestos-containing products or equipment were Fairbanks Morse, Quincy Compressor, Central Moloney, Delavan, France Compressor, and Farnam.
Rights may be affected for individuals who:
- Worked with or around Garlock asbestos-containing gaskets or packing, Coltec equipment with asbestos components, or any other asbestos-containing product for which Debtors are responsible, or
- Have a claim now or in the future against the Debtors for asbestos-related disease caused by any person’s exposure to asbestos-containing products.
Even if individuals have not yet been diagnosed with any disease or experienced any symptoms, their rights may be affected. The Court has appointed a Future Claimants’ Representative (“FCR”) to represent the rights of these future claimants.
The Plan is the result of a settlement agreement between the Debtors, the FCR, and committees representing asbestos claimants against Garlock and Coltec (the “Asbestos Claimants Committee”). The Plan will establish a Trust funded with $480 million to pay asbestos claims against Garlock and Coltec. If the Plan is approved, all claims must be filed against the Trust. Individuals will not be able to file claims against the Debtor or protected parties. If individuals have claims only against Anchor, they are not expected to recover anything, as that company has no assets and will be dissolved.
The Plan replaces a different plan that was supported by the Debtors and FCR. The Plan provides more guaranteed funding for paying asbestos claims, and also pays claims against Coltec. The Asbestos Claimants Committee opposed the previous plan, but supports the Plan.
All identifiable asbestos claimants or their attorneys will receive the “Solicitation Package.” This includes the Plan, Voting Ballot, and other information. Claimants can vote on the Plan by providing certified information about their claim, or making a motion to vote as described in the Solicitation Package available online or by calling the toll-free number.
Claimants will need to vote on the Plan by December 9, 2016. Claimants may also object to the Plan and the adequacy of the FCR’s representation of future claimants, and must do so by December 9, 2016.
Certain deadlines for filing asbestos claims against Garlock have already passed. If claimants have an asbestos claim against Coltec based on a disease diagnosed on or before August 1, 2014, they must cast a ballot before December 9, 2016, or else file a claim by March 24, 2017. If they do not file a claim, they may lose their right to bring a Coltec claim against the Trust in the future. Individuals diagnosed with disease after August 1, 2014 do not have to file a claim at this time, but may be able to vote or object to the Plan. In addition, if claimants have already filed an asbestos claim against Garlock, they do not have to file a separate Coltec asbestos claim.
A hearing to consider confirmation of the Plan will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET on May 15, 2017, at the US Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina, 401 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.
Please visit the website, www.GarlockNotice.com for more information and important documents.
Source: Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., Counsel to Debtors