What Can You Do About Asbestos Litigation? It Isn’t Going Away? (Part 2)
Given the ongoing risk of asbestos litigation, companies continue to receive their first asbestos lawsuits every day. What should you do when – or before – that lawsuit is filed?
Take It Seriously: Your company may be looking at just one case, but it could be more than that. Think of that one case as the template for the future. While you cannot prevent plaintiffs from filing cases, you may be able to make your company a less appealing target.
Investigate: Consider conducting an investigation into the products, premises, insurance coverage and corporate history related to the plaintiff’s claims. Collecting this information before it is requested will allow you to be better prepared to defend the company. Consider having the legal department or outside legal counsel conduct the investigation.
Understand the Numbers: An asbestos case, especially in a jurisdiction that hears a lot of them, can be expensive to defend. However, that doesn’t mean that early offers of, settlement for the case should be made in hopes of avoiding defense costs.It is important to think long-term and consider that more cases may follow, so a settlement offer in one case can set the plaintiff’s lawyer’s expectations for future cases.
Future Merger and Acquisition Activity: Mergers and acquisitions that are structured strategically can help with an effective defense in cases of successor liability.
In conclusion, the strategies employed now can have a significant impact on the scope and magnitude of your company’s long-term risk.