News

ABB asbestos claims in U.S. resolved

ABB is a Swiss engineering group. ABB?s U.S. subsidiary is Lummus Global. Lummus made industrial boilers lined with asbestos, which can cause cancer and other diseases. Lummus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year to give it a chance to settle its asbestos liabilities. ABB has now resolved the asbestos claims against Lummus, which has exited bankruptcy protection, the Swiss engineering group said Friday. The reorganisation for Lummus became effective on...

French Court convicts company of exposing employees to asbestos

A court on Monday convicted a company making industrial boilers of exposing employees to asbestos – a first in France. The former director of the Alstom Power Boiler site in Lys-les-Lannoy, near the northern town of Roubaix, also was convicted. The court fined the company US$96,435 – the maximum possible – and sentenced Bernard Gomez, 56, to a nine-month suspended jail term and a fine of US$3,857.   It awarded US$12,858 to each of the 150 employees in the case, all civil parties. It was the first time a French court ruled that a company was responsible for placing employees in danger by exposing them to asbestos, a hazardous...

Several Creditors Approve OWENS CORNING?S Plan

Owens Corning filed for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 5, 2000, because of mounting asbestos-liability claims. OC made a product containing asbestos, and workers who used the products developed illnesses, including mesothelioma, and have sued for damages. When the Toledo, Ohio firm filed for Chapter 11, it had $7 billion in assets and $5.7 billion in liabilities. This week bondholders, shareholders, and other creditors largely voted for Owens Corning’s plan to exit bankruptcy, another landmark in its six-year-old Chapter 11 case. In voting on this latest version of the exit plan – earlier plans had too much opposition – 94 percent of the bondholders approved it. The action was key, because some bondholders had been among the critics of previous bankruptcy-exit plans. Voting in favor were 322 bondholders with more than $1.1 billion in OC debt. Just 18 bondholders with nearly $65.7 million in debt rejected it, according to court documents filed Monday. Other non-asbestos creditors also approved the plan, according to court documents. Approval was needed by half of respondents to the roughly 250,000 ballots sent out and by holders of two-thirds of monetary claims, The remaining big creditor group, the asbestos-injury claimants, ,including mesothelioma victims, is expected to approve OC’s reorganization plan Friday. Seventy-five percent of the asbestos claimants have to accept the plan. If they do, that should clear the way for a court hearing Monday in Pittsburgh after which a judge could give the building products maker approval to emerge from bankruptcy. OC’s reorganization plan calls for paying $5.2 billion to asbestos victims, including the mesothelioma victims, and banks and some other creditors $2.5 billion....

Judge OKs Owens Plan to Exit Bankruptcy

Judge Judith Fitzgerald, a federal bankruptcy judge, indicated from the bench that she approved of Owens Corning’s plan for emerging from bankruptcy. The plan has an effective date of Oct. 30, 2006. The reorganization plan, filed in December, 2005, follows more than five years of litigation between attorneys for asbestos claimants, owners of the company’s bank debt and others. The plan shifts Owens Corning’s $7 billion in asbestos liabilities off the company books and into a trust that will be established for the plaintiffs. As part of the plan, the Toledo, Ohio-based building-products company will pay more than $5 billion to asbestos claimants, including mesothelioma victims, and as much as $2.27 billion to holders of bank debt. Existing equity would be wiped out and millions of new stock shares will be...