The Gilbert Edge
Our specialty is complex dispute resolution, and we bring unmatched insight and innovation to every problem we confront.
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Automotive Parts Mass-Tort Bankruptcy
A confirmed bankruptcy plan often is only the beginning of Gilbert LLP’s insurance recovery work in mass-tort bankruptcy cases. We are currently engaged as counsel to the Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Trust Fund.In Chapter 11 proceedings filed by the U.S. subsidiaries of Takata Corporation, a Japanese automotive parts company facing mounting allegations of liability for personal injury and wrongful death resulting from defective airbags it manufactured and sold, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware appointed Gilbert LLP in 2017 as insurance counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Tort Claimant Creditors. During the bankruptcy proceedings, Gilbert attorneys worked to evaluate and preserve all insurance assets potentially available to pay injured claimants. Following entry of a plan of reorganization, Gilbert LLP has served as insurance counsel for the Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Trust Fund. Gilbert LLP is using its unique experience in complex international disputes to seek recovery of insurance proceeds from Takata’s Japanese insurers so that these funds can be used to compensate the individuals injured by Takata.
Environmental Coverage Dispute
Gilbert LLP was retained by a major electric power company as settlement counsel in connection with pending litigation being handled by another firm. The company is seeking to secure insurance proceeds from more than a dozen insurers for its environmental liabilities related to coal-ash basins at the company’s power plants.
The use of separate settlement and litigation teams can have distinct benefits in resolving complex, multi-party disputes. It is a technique Gilbert lawyers pioneered, both for matters being litigated by other firms, as here, and for matters we litigate ourselves.
Talc Supplier Bankruptcy Case
Gilbert LLP builds on its long experience recovering insurance in mass-tort bankruptcy cases in the Chapter 11 proceeding filed by Imerys Talc America, Inc. (and related companies), a primary supplier of talc to Johnson & Johnson. In June, 2019, Gilbert was retained as special insurance counsel to the Official Committee of Tort Claimants in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Imerys is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging its products caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, 2019. Debtors allege that there may be billions of dollars of insurance available to pay these claims, but insurers have disputed their obligations. The ability to recover this insurance will be a significant factor in the ultimate ability of any resulting trust to pay the claims of the individuals injured by Imerys.
Gilbert’s specific experience in this area—recovering contested insurance in the context of a mass-tort bankruptcy case—led the Imerys Tort Claimants Committee to select Gilbert as its insurance counsel. Our skill at the intersection of these disciplines uniquely positions Gilbert to add value by evaluating, preserving, and recovering the insurance in the context of the Imerys proceedings.