The first motion to seal in the Garlock Sealing Technologies bankruptcy proceeding was filed on Thursday by Louisiana asbestos attorneys, exactly one week before the deadline.
The motion was filed by the Roussel & Clement law firm on behalf of numerous asbestos claimants. The motion asks the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina to seal Mesothelioma Claim Questionnaires and Supplemental Exposure Questionnaires as well as any data produced by the Delaware Claims Processing Facility regarding the listed individuals, which took roughly three pages to list. Roussel & Clement argues that the claimants would be prejudiced if the documents are unsealed, because they supplied confidential settlement information in the documents with the understanding that the information would remain sealed and would not have provided the information if they knew it could become accessible to the public. The documents in question contain claimants’ settlement information with asbestos bankruptcy trusts as well as solvent defendants in the tort system.
The motion is necessary because Garlock brought evidence to the bankruptcy hearing demonstrating that the last 10 years of its participation in the asbestos litigation system “was infected by the manipulation of exposure evidence by plaintiffs and their lawyers.”
“It appears certain that more extensive discovery would show more extensive abuse,” wrote Judge George Hodges, who is overseeing the case. “But that is not necessary because the startling pattern of misrepresentation that has been shown is sufficiently persuasive.” Read more...