The closing panel at last month’s Perrin Asbestos Litigation Conference was one of the most interesting. It discussed “The Impact of Bankruptcies on Litigation Strategies”, with Jennifer Studebaker of Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP presenting the view from the defense side and Anne McGinness Kearse of Motley Rice LLP presenting the view from the plaintiff side.
This is subject matter that we have visited several times before here on our blog. First is the Garlock decision, which unearthed the fraudulent withholding of evidence showing exposure to products of bankrupt companies. Then there is the RAND study, which examined the mysterious disappearance of evidence of such exposures in plaintiffs who had worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Jennifer Studebaker opened with a fascinating summary of the states that have enacted some form of bankruptcy-related transparency legislation that requires plaintiffs to disclose with their complaint the identities of any bankruptcy trusts they have submitted claims to — or plan to submit claims to — as well as initiatives in other jurisdictions.
Rather than make a poor attempt at presenting this work, I am delighted that Jennifer has accepted our invitation to be a guest blogger on Risky Business. She will contribute a blog post on this subject shortly.
I also plan to follow that with an analysis of the effect of these legislative initiatives on filing rates in those jurisdictions — mining the same database of complaints from which we developed our recent Asbestos Litigation: 2016 Mid-Year Asbestos report.
Looking ahead, I will also be blogging about the latest addition to our Ligado platform: KCIC’s Bankruptcy Evidence Verification tool (BEV), which we will introduce at the DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar in November. By facilitating the gathering of evidence of exposure to bankruptcy trusts during depositions, it’s designed to be the antidote to the sort of nonsense uncovered in Garlock and by RAND. Stay tuned for a lot more on the subject!