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Asbestos Watch Newsletters
May 1994

Featured Articles:

Report to Asbestos Victims
Public Symposium: Asbestos, the Persistent Plague

Other Articles:

Paul--We Will Get You and the WLA!!!
Mesothelioma Victims Win Three Million Dollars Each
CCR Settlement Is No Good for Asbestos Victims
Turner and Newell Sued by Chase Bank
Lloyds of London Threatened by Asbestos
Edith Ford and Volunteers Honored
Manville Trust Still Fights Against Victims
Chrysotile Asbestos is Deadly
Italy Issues Ban On Asbestos
Open Letter to Health Professionals
Brazil Hosts Anti-Asbestos Conference
World Movement to Ban Asbestos Gain Strength

April 8, 1994 by White Lung Association
Report to Asbestos Victims

For Immediate Release:
Update on CCR Class Action Fairness Hearing

The Fairness Hearing to determine if the CCR Class Action settlement can proceed in court was convened by Judge Reed in Philadelphia Federal Court, 601 Market St, on February 22, 1994. The Hearing lasted several weeks and will probably not conclude until June. CCR includes most of the old Wellington Group.

The court room was filled with asbestos victims who were opposed to the settlement. Outside of the court hundreds marched in protest. Over the objections of Paul Safchuck, national president of the White Lung Association, the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers and others, the court proceeded to hear evidence on why the proposal should be certified.

Judge Reed seemed to favor Gene Locks, Ron Motley and the asbestos manufacturers. Gene Locks, Motley and twenty asbestos manufacturers in the Center for Claims resolution have proposed a settlement for all people who have disease from their asbestos.

If you did not fill out an "opt out" form before Jan. 24, 1994, they are proposing a settlement is all that you will ever get. You will automatically have Mr. Locks or Mr. Motley as your attorney.

The Judge refused let asbestos victims represent themselves or to allow the White Lung Association officers the right to speak. The Judge refused to allow "Asbestos Watch" reporters James Fite or Paul Safchuck access to seating with the other press. Asbestos victims were harassed by the court officers and forced to clear the court room several times before the hearing could begin. The victims were forced to wait in long lines and to go through metal detectors in the lobby and before going into the court room itself.

Ron Motley gave a very poor presentation to the court as he spoke on behalf of the deal between himself and the asbestos companies. He appeared nervous and irritable that his actions were being denounced by the asbestos victims. This was almost the same speech he presented when he spoke in favor of the Manville Trust. Motley cloaked his deal in the name of asbestos victims. Motley also claimed that he and Gene Locks and the asbestos companies were honorable men whose fine ethics was in the interest of the asbestos victims. Motley made two important points that need to be investigated; one point was that 70% of the compensation money for asbestos victims now goes to lawyers, experts and court fees. The second point was that 90% of the releases now signed are signed to release the company of all diseases from asbestos, even if they come later in life.

Fred Baron then spoke against the Motley-Locks-Asbestos Company deal. Judge Reed was nasty to Baron, but he still had to let Baron talk as he was the official representative of the Opposition to the Deal. Baron exposed the facts of the case. This alone proved the vast unfairness of the settlement. The WLA believes Judge Reed ignored the constitution and the legal facts and made it clear he did not care about asbestos victims and merely wanted to rubber stamp the deal.

Fred Baron brought out charts which explained how the CCR deal was rotten for the asbestos victims.

Chart I of Baron Exhibits    
CCR All Filings Against CCR All Settlements
1989 21,486 20,007
1990 24,049 14,824
1991 22,813 15,843
1992 29,741 25,354
1993 21,311 52,136

total 119,400 128,164

The average $23,880 $25, 000

Chart II of Baron Exhibits
Proposed CCR deal (Called Georgine, after Robert Georgine, President of the AFL-CIO Building Trades Department, who is cooperating with Motley) will settle this amount of cases.
Year All settlements
1994 15,000
1995 13,500
1996 11,900
1997 10,355
1998 9,750
1999 9,500
2000 8,250
2001 7,700
2002 6,940
2003 6,440

Total 9,500 cases handled in 10 years of CCR agreement. Average per year is 9,950.

In chart three Baron pointed out that CCR has settled 104,453 claims in the last four and one half years and this has paid out $1,112,000,000. At the current rate CCR would pay out over three billion dollars to asbestos victims in the next ten years. 50% of the CCR Deal will handle less than cases now filed against CCR.

If the deal goes through CCR will not have to pay out more than 1.7 billion dollars. Mr. Fitzpatrick, the Executive Director of the CCR stated that the asbestos companies wanted this deal because their goal was to settle future claims as cheaply as they could.

Baron also introduced evidence that the CCR companies would make over 133 billion in profits during this ten year period and that the CCR deal will pay out less than 1% of these profits to asbestos victims. The companies will only pay about 550 million of their own money, the rest being paid by their insurance companies.

Baron then proved that Motley and Locks have admitted to settling over 200 million dollars of claims for their clients and that they will make 71 million dollars for themselves from this deal.

next chart compared the benefits from the present system to the CCR deal.

Issue Present Situation CCR Deal
How many victims can claim benefits Unlimited Average 9,900 year
Who qualifies any victim Strict limits
What doctor can by used by victim any doctor only two specialists
Can victims get a deferral on time to file yes no
Is there a cap on settlement amounts no yes
Can victim sue the distributors yes no
Does victims loss compensation rights no sometimes
speed of cases five years by special deal

Over 260,000 people have opted out of this deal. Motley, Locks and the asbestos companies have made a motion to court to discard 95% of these no votes. The Judge has ruled against the request of the White Lung Association and others to extend the amount of time people have to opt out of this settlement.

For more information about the White Lung Association and its programs, please contact Jim Fite, jfite@whitelung.org
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