Motley Rice co-founder Ron Motley (1944 – 2013) played a key role in the bankruptcy proceedings that led to the creation of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, where Motley Rice currently holds an advisory position.
For his efforts in bringing to light the infamous Sumner-Simpson papers and in serving as the whistleblower who called out the asbestos industry’s decades-long knowledge of asbestos’ detrimental and fatal impacts, the American Lawyer dubbed Ron Motley as the “Man Who Took on Manville.”
Since that time, Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice and many other attorneys with Motley Rice have fought against Johns-Manville and other companies that used asbestos and subsequently caused mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases in workers and also their families as a result of secondhand exposure.
History of Johns-Manville Asbestos Litigation
Johns-Manville, Inc. was at one time the world’s largest miner, processor, manufacturer and supplier of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, with a majority of its products consisting of insulation and construction materials.
Employees of Johns-Manville began filing for disability due to lung diseases as early as 1929 and asbestos-related injury lawsuits were filed against it starting in the 1960s. In 1982, Johns-Manville filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in 1988 it formed the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust to handle the hundreds of thousands of asbestos injury claims and lawsuits filed against it.
As of 2013, the Manville Trust had paid nearly $4.5 billion to more than 815,000 claimants with more claims expected.
Johns-Manville Trust Cases
In 2004, Travelers Insurance, the company that insured Johns Manville from the 1940s through the 1970s, was ordered to pay $500 million to settle more than 500,000 claims against the company. Travelers fought the order for more than a decade, until 2014, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the 2004 settlement agreement was binding and enforceable.
In 2010, Motley Rice filed a shareholder derivative complaint on behalf of the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust that resulted in improved corporate governance measures within the pharmaceutical company Omnicare, Inc.