New York Bankruptcy Court Denies GM’s Lawsuit Against Widowed Mesothelioma Victim

Thumbnail image for iStock-92402940.jpgA New York bankruptcy court finally put to rest an attempt by General Motors Corp. (GM) to recoup money paid to the widow of a former long time Ohio employee who contracted mesothelioma from various GM products over his 37-year career with the auto giant. In addition to filing claims against the victim’s widow, GM attempted to recover funds paid out to the victim’s estate by several asbestos bankruptcy trusts connected to the asbestos contaminated products that allegedly played a role in the deceased auto worker’s condition.

GM filed its lawsuit against the defendants in Henry County, Ohio, in August 2016 claiming, among other things, the auto giant made workers’ compensation payments to the sickened auto worker ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 before reaching a final disability settlement. GM argued the companies running the asbestos bankruptcy trusts owed the automaker a legal duty under Ohio law to inform any parties which may have claims to the settlements from the trusts.

GM eventually withdrew its Ohio complaint and filed claims in federal courts in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York but was met with stiff defence from attorneys representing those trusts. Attorneys for those entities cited a “channeling injunction” that bars claimants and bankruptcy trusts from continuing litigation related to asbestos claims. Specifically, The injunction bars “any actions against the trust for the purpose of directly or indirectly collecting, recovering, or receiving payments or recovery with respect to any asbestos-related claims, including, but not limited to, claims for subrogation.”

Fortunately for the mesothelioma victim’s widow, a federal bankruptcy judge for the Southern District of New York sided with the widow and the asbestos trusts in denying its attempt to indemnify itself with money meant to compensate the victim. The case is another example of just how far powerful entities will attempt to go to avoid any type of responsibility for its carelessness and indifference to public safety.

What are Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts?

Asbestos bankruptcy trusts pay out meritorious claims to asbestos cancer victims for their injuries caused by the harmful products of a company. These trusts were set up by asbestos manufacturers as a means to resolve claims and move into bankruptcy. Often times, filing claims with these entities can result in a more expedient dispersal of compensation.

Like asbestos cancer lawsuits, filing claims with bankruptcy trusts can collect compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages as a result of exposure to a company’s asbestos contaminated products. To file a successful claim, asbestos cancer victims and their families should consult with an experienced mesothelioma attorney to gather necessary documentation and navigate the administrative process.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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