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April 27, 2016 9:45 AM
$3.5 Billion Pittsburg Corning Corporation Asbestos Trust Fund Is Now Operating

 

After 16 years of bankrutcy, the $3.5 Billion asbestos trust of Pittsburg Cornning Corporation (PPG) opened for the business of paying asbestos victims and their famiies. PPG anounce that that the payment plan provided for under the asbestos companies bankruptcy reorganization plan ffective April 27, 2016. PPG has emerged from Chapter 11 bankrutcy and has been operating under asbestos-realted Chapter 11 protection since April 16, 2000.

The Pittsburgh Corning Modified Third Amended POR establishes the Pittsburgh Corning Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust.  Scheduled to receive assets valued in excess of $3.5 billion, the Trust will be among the largest asbestos trusts in the country. It assumes all asbestos-related liabilities related to Pittsburgh Corning and resolves all asbestos personal injury claims, including those filed in the future. The Trust is to be funded by contributions of Pittsburgh Corning, its shareholders (PPG Industries Inc. and Corning Incorporated) and participating insurance carriers. Prior to emergence from Chapter 11, Pittsburgh Corning and Pittsburgh Corning Europe were equity affiliates of PPG Industries, Inc. and Corning, Inc. Effective today,  Pittsburgh Corning Corporation will be owned by the Pittsburgh Corning Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust. Pittsburgh Corning Europe was not subject to Chapter 11, but its shares will be contributed to the Trust as part of the Company’s Plan of Reorganization by early June 2016.The Company’s Modified Third Amended Plan of Reorganization was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on May 24, 2013, and affirmed by the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania on September 30, 2014. Appeals were finally resolved on January 7, 2016, which allowed consummation of the Plan. 

Between 1962 and 1972, Pittsburgh Corning manufactured, marketed and sold Unibestos, an asbestos pipe insulation product it acquired from Union Asbestos and Rubber Company. The Company was named as a defendant in asbestos-related lawsuits, defending and resolving more than 200,000 claims. Pittsburgh Corning sought Chapter 11 protection in 2000, when it became apparent that defending and settling an additional 235,000 pending claims would exhaust Company resources before they could be resolved.

 

Pittsburgh Corning emerges from Chapter 11 protection having reinvented its business. Since its inception almost 80 years ago, the privately held Pittsburgh Corning has grown to serve customers globally. Together with Pittsburgh Corning Europe, the Company operates today as a single worldwide enterprise that is the world’s largest producer of environmentally advanced cellular glass insulation and systems. It operates insulation manufacturing facilities in Sedalia, Missouri; Fresno, Texas; Tessenderlo, Belgium; Klasterec, Czech Republic, and recently, began production at its new, wholly owned state-of-the-art facility in Yantai, China.  Glass block products are produced in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania.

 

“During Chapter 11, Pittsburgh Corning operated with two major objectives. For the first five years, when emergence seemed to be a few years in the offing, the Company focused on protecting and preserving the assets, which would become part of the Asbestos Trust. When it became apparent that Pittsburgh Corning’s time in bankruptcy was going to be extended, our focus expanded to include strategic actions designed to reinvent our business to better serve customers worldwide and create a platform for sustained profitable growth for our future shareholders,” said James R. Kane, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pittsburgh Corning Corporation. “Today, Pittsburgh Corning has achieved both goals. After 16 years of operating under Chapter 11, the Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust can begin helping people and families.  The Company has performed well and is eager to move past Chapter 11 and toward a promising future.”

Pittsburgh Corning has implemented strategic initiatives that have improved service to customers and created shareholder value. Significant capital investments have been made at plants in the United States and Europe to improve safety and productivity and reduce delivery time and costs. With the addition of the new operation in China, the Company’s base of operations has expanded to be closer to its customers on three continents.

“Pittsburgh Corning customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and business partners have been instrumental in keeping the Company stable, competitive and growing during the past 16 years,” said Kane.  “We’re grateful for all of our stakeholders, whose unfaltering support has allowed Pittsburgh Corning to become a world leader in the production of high performance, sustainable, glass-based building materials that conserve energy, protect the environment and enhance safety for millions of people around the world.”

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.



 

 

 

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