Another asbestos company exits bankruptcy

ABB Ltd said no appeals had been filed by an end-March deadline against a reorganisation plan for its US unit CE, meaning the plan is final and effectively drawing a line under a damaging 16 year legal battle over asbestos compensation for the Swiss/Swedish engineering group. ‘This is a milestone in the history of ABB,’ CEO Fred Kindle said in a statement Saturday. ‘We are very glad to have a resolution of this important issue, which removes significant uncertainty that has harmed ABB over the years.’ Under the plan, which will protect ABB and its subsidiaries against current and future asbestos claims, ABB has committed 1.43 bln usd to a trust fund for asbestos claims against CE (Combustion Engineering). A US District Court approved the plan on Feb 28 but the ruling was subject to a 30-day appeals period, which has now passed. CE built industrial boilers insulated with asbestos, which can cause long-term damage to the lungs, including cancer, and when it took over the US company in 1990, ABB inherited lawsuits from thousands of...

Congoleum Insurance Settlement Approved by the Court

Congoleum Corporation is a subsidiary of American Biltrite Inc. Congoleum is a flooring manufacturer whose products contained asbestos. Congoleum filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 31, 2003. The Mercerville, N.J.-based flooring company is facing thousands of asbestos-related personal injury claims, including claims by mesothelioma victims. Congoleum recently reached a tentative deal with bondholders and asbestos claimants’ representatives on the terms of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. Congoleum said its bondholders have agreed to withdraw a reorganization plan they filed and support Congoleum’s own turnaround plan. The official committee of bondholders had previously supported the Chapter 11 plan it proposed along with insurers Continental Casualty Co. and Continental Insurance Co. Congoleum said it will file a new reorganization plan with the court by Friday and expects to seek approval of the plan’s disclosure statement at an Oct. 19 hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, N.J. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, N.J. approved a insurance settlement that will add $16.95 million to Congoleum Corp.’s trust to pay victims who were exposed to the company’s asbestos-containing products. Congoleum said the deal brings total insurance settlements in the case to about $207 million. The company will use the settlement money to fund a trust to repay asbestos victims, including claims by mesothelioma...