TUCSON, Ariz. (Legal Newsline) - The City of Tucson, Ariz., will get $5.5 million in a settlement with W.R. Grace & Co. after a 12 year legal battle.
Grace & Co. allegedly used asbestos products when fireproofing several city buildings during construction.
Grace & Co., a specialty chemicals and materials company employing 6,500 people worldwide, and 61 affiliates voluntarily filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in April 2001. The cases were consolidated for administration purposes, leaving Grace with the role of operating their businesses and managing their properties as debtors in possession.
At the time of its bankruptcy filing, the company was crippled with more than 100,000 asbestos-related personal injury claims.
After receiving bankruptcy protection, the City of Tucson sought help from outside counsel in 2002 for representation during the litigations.
After 13 years, Grace & Co. emerged from bankruptcy protection in February when its Joint Plan of Reorganization became effective, establishing two independent trusts to compensate asbestos personal injury claimants and cleanup efforts.
Together, the two trusts are funded by more than $4 billion from a variety of sources including, cash, warrants to purchase Grace & Co. common stock, deferred payment obligations, insurance proceeds and payments from former affiliates..
Tucson will receive the award as its share of the Grace & Co. federal bankruptcy settlement.
City buildings with Grace & Co. asbestos products include:
-Tucson Convention Center meeting rooms;
-Leo Rich Theatre;
-Tucson Convention Center Music Hall;
-Old Pima Bank Building;
-City Hall Annex, which no longer exists; and
-Transportation Contract Service Center.
Tucson's total settlement amounted to $7.7 million, but $2.2 million went towards outside attorneys fees.
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