When you settled with a claim for an Asbestos Wrongful Death, what is the legal name of the insurance or money that is paid out? Is it considered general liability, umbrella, or what name?
The first lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers were brought in 1929. Since then, many lawsuits have been filed. As a result of the litigation, manufacturers sold off subsidiaries, diversified, produced asbestos substitutes, and started asbestos removal businesses. In June 1982, a retired boiler-maker, James Cavett, won a record award of $2.3 million compensatory and $1.5 million in punitive damages.
The Manville Corporation, formerly the Johns-Manville Corporation, filed for reorganization and protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code in August 1982. At the time, it was the largest company ever to file bankruptcy, and was one of the richest. Manville was then 181st on the Fortune 500, but was the defendant of 16,500 lawsuits related to the health effects of asbestos. The company was described by Ron Motley, a South Carolina attorney, as "the greatest corporate mass murderer in history." Court documents show that the corporation had a long history of hiding evidence of the ill effects of asbestos from its workers and the public. One of many examples is a memo from Manville's medical director to corporate headquarters:
The fibrosis of this disease is irreversible and permanent so that eventually compensation will be paid to each of these men. But, as long as the man is not disabled it is felt that he should not be told of his condition so that he can live and work in peace and the company can benefit by his many years of experience.
By the early 1990s, "more than half of the 25 largest asbestos manufacturers in the US, including Amatex, Carey-Canada, Celotex, Eagle-Pitcher Industries, Forty-Eight Insulations, Manville Corporation, National Gypsum, Standard Insulation, Unarco, and UNR Industries had declared bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy protects a company from its creditors."
One of the major issues relating to asbestos in civil procedure is the latency of asbestos-related diseases. Most countries have limitation periods to bar actions that are taken long after the cause of action has lapsed. For example, in Malaysia the time period to file a tort action is six years from the time the tort occurred. Due to several asbestos-related actions, countries such as Australia have amended their laws relating to limitations to accumulate starting from time of discovery rather than time when the cause of action accrued. the late 19th century and early 20th century, asbestos was considered an ideal material for use in the construction industry. It was known to be an excellent fire retardant, to have high electrical resistance, and was inexpensive and easy to use.
The problem with asbestos arises when the fibers become airborne and are inhaled. Because of the size of the fibers, the lungs cannot expel them. They are also sharp and penetrate tissues.
Health problems attributed to asbestos include
Asbestosis - A lung disease first found in textile workers, asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue from an acid produced by the body's attempt to dissolve the fibers. The scarring may eventually become so severe that the lungs can no longer function. The latency period (meaning the time it takes for the disease to develop) is often 10–20 years.
Mesothelioma - A cancer of the mesothelial lining of the lungs and the chest cavity, the peritoneum (abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac surrounding the heart). Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma has no association with smoking. The only established causal factor is exposure to asbestos or similar fibers. The latency period for mesothelioma may be 20–50 years. The prognosis for mesothelioma is grim, with most patients dying within 12 months of diagnosis.
Cancer - Cancer of the lung, gastrointestinal tract, kidney and larynx have been linked to asbestos. The latency period for cancer is often 15–30 years. 
Diffuse pleural thickening 
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
25,541 answers this week
2,680 attorneys answering
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary