March 11, 2021Alerts

2020 Asbestos Litigation & Legislative Updates

Despite 2020 being an unprecedented year that brought many aspects of our lives to a standstill, the courts remained busy with asbestos litigation, setting some interesting new precedents while reaffirming others. Notably, the federal courts of appeals grappled with whether a confirmation plan that discharged latent asbestos claims without creating a litigation trust under Section 524(g) would still be able to afford future claimants due process, and whether an FCR appointed by the bankruptcy court in 1986 adequately represented future claimants with regards to their potential in rem and in personam actions against the settling insurers. Meanwhile, the state courts issued diverging decisions as to whether a defendant can be held liable for third party asbestos parts that are necessary to use products manufactured or sold by the defendant. Presumably focused on other topics in 2020, legislators passed few laws addressing asbestos litigation.