Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, a former manufacturer of asbestos gaskets and packing, engaged us as Special Asbestos Defense Counsel in its bankruptcy proceeding. As part of its reorganization, the court conducted a trial in the summer of 2013 to estimate the value of present and future mesothelioma claims against Garlock. We served as trial counsel on the issues relating to whether those claims are supported by sound science. Lawyers from the Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson law firm tried the case with us and took the lead on issues related to the estimation of the claims’ value and the historical conduct of the litigation against Garlock, among others.
The court rendered its decision in Garlock’s favor on January 10, 2014. In a 65-page opinion, the court reviewed the evidence in detail, explaining why it found the scientific evidence Garlock offered reliable and why it was not persuaded by the proof offered by the Committee of Asbestos Creditors and the Future Claims Representative. The court found industrial hygiene evidence Garlock challenged is “pseudo-science at best” and concluded:
It is clear that Garlock’s products resulted in a relatively low exposure to asbestos to a limited population and that its legal responsibility for causing mesothelioma is relatively de minimus.