Judge Approves $4M for Libby Asbestos Attorneys

By MATTHEW BROWN | April 8, 2013

A state judge says lawyers for victims of asbestos exposure in a contaminated Montana town are entitled to more than $4 million in fees and expenses out of a $19.6 million settlement with chemical manufacturer W.R. Grace and Co.

State District Judge James Wheelis said in a recent order that a 20 percent fee was fair and reasonable. He cited the thousands of hours of work that attorneys from three firms put into the case.

Some victims had objected to the amount as excessive. They wanted the money to go toward future medical care for more than 2,200 people sickened by asbestos dust from a Grace mine near Libby.

A separate legal settlement between asbestos victims and the state of Montana included $14 million in attorney fees.

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