RPM International to Resolve Asbestos Claims for $797 Million

By Phil Milford | July 29, 2014

RPM International Inc., whose bankrupt Bondex and Specialty Products units may have faced liabilities of more than $1 billion, said it tentatively settled asbestos claims for $797.5 million.

The money, allocated over a four-year period, will go into a trust to benefit personal injury claimants, the Medina, Ohio- based holding company said in a statement. Related documents weren’t immediately posted with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“We have been able to reach a settlement on acceptable terms,” Frank Sullivan, chief executive officer, said in the statement. The accord will let the company “move forward and put this chapter in our history behind us.”

Bankrupt companies are able to win immunity from future asbestos lawsuits by setting up trusts to cover asbestos-related costs. The settlement is subject to a fairness review by a judge.

Bondex and Specialty Products sought court protection from creditors in May, 2010, estimating asbestos liabilities of less than $400 million at the time from more than 10,000 lawsuits.

In May, 2013, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald estimated claims from current and future victims of asbestos poisoning may reach $1.17 billion.

The bankruptcy case is In re Specialty Products Holdings Corp., 10-bk-11780, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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