Asbestos Maker’s Claims Against Mesothelioma Law Firm “Offensive”

Accusations by an asbestos company that three Dallas plaintiff’s law firms engaged in fraud by supposedly encouraging mesothelioma clients to hide evidence of exposure to other asbestos products are “preposterous,” say the lawyers. Garlock Sealing Technologies — the maker of dangerous asbestos gaskets — made the claims in a lawsuit it filed in bankruptcy court in North Carolina. The lawsuit claims that Garlock paid more in settlement than it would have if the asbestos product maker had known that the law firms’ clients had been exposed to other asbestos products in addition to Garlock’s dangerous gaskets. Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Garlock injured so many people with its harmful asbestos gaskets that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010 so it could eventually stop paying claims to American veterans and others injured by its products. When the bankruptcy is sorted out, Garlock will be able to do business as before, but without the burden of compensating its victims.

Garlock accuses the mesothelioma law firms of fighting for too much money on behalf of their clients by pursuing claims against bankruptcy trusts set up for the asbestos companies that have filed for bankruptcy (as Garlock has done). The bankruptcy trusts pay a few cents on the dollar in comparison to what the companies would have paid had they not gotten protection from their debts in bankruptcy. Garlock reportedly claims that Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel should not have been able to collect compensation for its clients from everyone responsible, whether or not the companies were in bankruptcy.

The lawyers Garlock has targeted pointed out that Garlock has been making dangerous asbestos products for 100 years and that the company had been actively sued in mesothelioma cases for decades. Garlock knew that veterans and other workers were exposed to a large variety of asbestos products on every jobsite. Garlock sued the law firms, they claim, because they had been the most successful at recovering fair settlements and verdicts for their injured clients.

Peter Kraus, who for decades has been successfully representing WWII veterans and others with mesothelioma, explained that none of his clients hid anything from Garlock. Neither did Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel hide anything. Calling Garlock’s story a “fictionalized version” of what really happened, Kraus explained that Garlock lost its cases in court because juries didn’t believe the company’s excuses. Garlock settled its cases with Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel because it was afraid that juries would punish the company once they learned that it kept making asbestos products that kill people long after it knew of the hazards.

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Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel is a national plaintiffs’ law firm devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving asbestos, mesothelioma and other injuries caused by toxic exposures. Our attorneys have won record-setting verdicts, negotiated monumental settlements, and continuously work to improve the legislation governing dangerous asbestos products. Based in Dallas, Texas, with offices in California and Maryland, Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel has represented families across the country whose lives have been devastated by asbestos and mesothelioma.

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If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us by email or call our mesothelioma lawyers at 800.226.9880, like Scott Kruka and Walker Humphrey in our Texas office, to learn more about how we can assist you and your family with a mesothelioma lawsuit.

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