Update on T&N Ltd.* 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen

 

 

On October 1, 2001, T&N Ltd. ceased paying asbestos-related disease claims when its American parent company, Federal Mogul (FM), filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. and administration under the UK Insolvency Act of 1986.1 Years of cross-Atlantic negotiations, scores of court appearances and millions of pounds of professional fees later, the UK courts approved plans for T&N to exit the administration process. The sixth anniversary of the administration is an appropriate time to examine the current situation facing those suffering from T&N-generated asbestos illnesses in the UK.

According to a spokesperson for Kroll, T&N's UK administrators, as of mid-September (2007), 483 claims had been made; “claim levels are,” he reported “below what was expected so far.” A total of 4,386,032 ($8.8m)2 has been paid out in compensation for 147 claims: an average of 29,837 ($60,087).3 More than 75% of all claims are from former employees, 47% of whom qualify for top-up insurance payments from the Employers' Liability (EL) Trust. The value of claims is dependent on a number of parameters and factors. Claimants opting for a detailed individual review could receive twice as much as those choosing the fast-track expedited review; they could also receive less. Reflecting the more generous regime north of the border, Scottish claimants receive higher compensation payouts than English, Welsh or Northern Irish claimants and, in all cases, people with mesothelioma receive more than those with lung cancer or asbestosis. The maximum payout as specified in the matrix of claims values is 325,000 ($656,758) under the individual review process for mesothelioma in Scotland; the minimum mesothelioma award under the expedited review process elsewhere in the UK is 100,000 ($201,397).

According to the trust administrators, payments for the first 25 successful claims were sent out on April 16, 2007; 19 additional cases were paid two weeks later. Solicitors confirm that checks are being received; in at least one case, within 8 weeks of first contact with the trust administrators. Those claimants with post-1969 employment receive the highest awards as most of them are entitled to compensation from the EL Trust; this group has been receiving payouts equal to 68% of their claims.

HYPOTHETICAL CASE: A 60 year old ex-T&N worker with mesothelioma whose occupational exposure took place after 1969 and who chose an expedited review of his case would be entitled to 100,000 and would recover 68,000 ($136,930); by 2012, he, or his estate, could receive a further 14,000 ($28,191) giving the claim a total value of 82,000.

If the same claimant had been employed before the 1969 cut-off, he would receive 17,000 ($34,232) now and a possible 9,000 ($18,124) by 2012 to give a total of 26,000.

Solicitors report relief amongst claimants that checks are being received. Although legal representatives report that claims are being processed efficiently and that the trustees are acting in reasonable faith, some victim support workers report that “the administrators of the T&N scheme are taking a very hard line on applications…”

October 1, 2007

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*This article first appeared in issue 68 of the British Asbestos Newsletter. Other articles by the same author on this subject, in addition to those referenced in footnote 2, can be found in Newsletter issues 65 and 64.

1 See: British Asbestos Newsletter, issues 60, 58, 56, 55, 53, 51, 48, 46, 45.

2 Payments towards legal and medical costs have also been made where appropriate.

3 44 claims have been rejected or withdrawn.

 

 

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