Few people would ever want to suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence. But even though this is the case, we often take comfort in the fact that we have the right to seek compensation for our injuries and hold the guilty party responsible for their actions.
With asbestos exposure, this has been no different. That’s because, as some of you may already know, many companies knew that asbestos exposure could lead to health problems but continued to manufacture products containing asbestos. This negligence has resulted in hundreds of thousands of claims across the nation, including many here in Illinois.
One of these manufacturers was Johns-Manville Corp. who was considered the largest supplier of raw asbestos until it filed for bankruptcy in 1982. By that time though, it had exposed a large number of workers and consumers to harmful asbestos, which resulted in serious illnesses for many and possibly even death for some. But even though the company is now defunct and no longer producing potentially harmful products, the legal legacy it left behind still continues to this day.
Some of our Madison County readers may have heard about the recent circuit court decision, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court. The decision orders Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurers, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, and Travelers Indemnity, to pay more than $500 million to settle tort litigation stemming from Johns-Manville Corp.’s actions.
As some of you may not know, litigation concerning Johns-Manville Corp. has resulted in compensation for more than 600,000 claimants totaling roughly $3.2 billion. Though this compensation in no way excuses the company for the damage its products have inflicted, it does at the very least provide victims with the financial means to seek treatment for their asbestos-related illnesses. And thanks to the new court order, more financial restitution is available to those who choose to file a claim.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Insurer Must Pay $500M to Resolve Asbestos Case,” Adam Klasfeld, July 22, 2014