Western Asbestos Site and Ship List Updates
Modifications to the Western Site/Ships list were approved at the November 13, 2008 Trustee meeting. These lists have been updated and are available in the Claim Packet section. Please review the current list(s), which includes a modification column for reference purposes.
Social Security Records
RESOLVED that the Trustees, in agreement with the TAC and Futures Representative amended the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust Case Valuation Matrix Section VII(c) in December 2006 to state the following:
If the Injured Person has exposure at multiple sites, but there is no evidence supporting actual length of time at any of the sites, the Trust will allocate exposure based upon an even distribution of the total length of exposure among all sites claimed. The Injured Person’s attorney and the Injured Person or Personal Representative must provide declarations stating that the work sites listed include all work sites where the Injured Person worked, and that there is no other information available to demonstrate actual work time at each site. In addition, the interrogatories accompanying the claim must contain the Injured Person’s entire work history.
FURTHER that the Trustees, in agreement with the TAC and Futures Representative agreed that social security records could be used as some evidence when the claimant is a Western employee and there is no evidence of the actual amount of days the claimant spent at a site. The Trust will calculate the claimant’s income ratios to determine the amount of days spent at a Western site.
Filing Fee Reminder
The Trust requires a $250.00 filing fee for each claim submitted to the Trust. When the claim is paid, the Trust refunds the filing fee. If the filing fee was paid by the claimant, one hundred percent of the fee must be returned to the claimant.
The Trust is sending this reminder regarding the attorneys’ fees. The Trust Distribution Procedures (TDP) Section 8.4 states,
Attorneys’ fees payable in connection with Trust claims paid through this TDP, whether based on hourly rates or where calculated as a percentage of recovery, shall be the lower of the fee provided in the contract between claimant and counsel or 25% of the recovery, exclusive of costs chargeable to the claimant, which costs shall be deducted from the gross amount paid before computation of fees. This recovery shall be measured by the actual payments from the Trust to the claimant, not the liquidated value of the claim. Legal fees shall be paid as payment to claimants are made by the Trust.
UPDATE TO NOTICE OF CLAIMS AUDIT BY HARTFORD ACCIDENT & INDEMNITY COMPANY
The Trust provided notice of Hartford’s intent to audit through a general notification email to Plaintiffs’ attorneys. Since that time, the Trust Advisory Committee and the Futures Representative filed an adversary proceeding in the Western Asbestos bankruptcy proceeding seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to limit the scope of Hartford’s audit and its use of information received in the course of the audit, including personal claims information. Hartford opposes restrictions on the scope of its review and on its ability to use the information it obtains. Hartford counterclaimed seeking “an order granting specific performance of Hartford’s audit right under the Settlement Agreement, requiring the Trust to grant Hartford complete access to review and/or audit the Trust and Trust documents, including allowing Hartford to copy Trust documents.” Hartford has moved for judgment on the pleadings, or in the alternative for summary judgment, and that motion is set for a hearing on March 31, 2008. Oppositions to Hartford’s motion are due on March 17, 2008.
2008 INFLATION ADJUSTMENT
All claim payments made in 2008 will receive an inflation adjustment based upon the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The inflation rate being utilized for 2008 is 4.3% compounded with the inflation factor of 2.6% for 2007 and 3.4% for 2006. The Trust’s current payment percentage is 40%. The Trust will continue to utilize the CPI-W adjustment for claims payments.