In case you were wondering why George W. Bush and friends are strongly pushing tort reform in class action lawsuits look no further than the case of mega-contributor Halliburton. How can a company contemplating bankruptcy for the past three years donate money to Republicans?
On Monday Halliburton began mailing yet another reorganization plan to participants with a plan to file Chapter 11 reorganization in November. This delay in payments on 200,000 claims for asbestos related injury is entering yet another phase. Is this reminiscent of the Exxon delays in paying settlements for the Valdeze spill? Will it go on for 14 years without a dime being paid until friendly judges can reduce the settlement to peanuts? Stay tuned for more amazing stories of Corporate weasels circumventing the law while benefiting from billions of your taxpayer dollars.
Halliburton/Units: To Mail Disclosure Statement 09-22-03
HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--Halliburton Co.'s (HAL) DII Industries Inc., Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. and other affected units began soliciting claimants in connection with its planned asbestos and silica settlement.Halliburton Abestos filings
Last December, Halliburton agreed to pay $4 billion in cash and stock to a trust that would pay current and future asbestos claims. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to put DII unit, including its Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. construction business, into bankruptcy proceedings.
In a press release Monday, the oilfield-services company said the disclosure statement, which incorporates and describes the plan of reorganization and trust distribution procedures, is being printed and mailed to asbestos and silica claimants for the purpose of soliciting votes to approve the plan of reorganization.
The company expects the mailing process will be completed in less than two weeks.
Remaining conditions to a Chapter 11 filing by the affected Halliburton units include completion of definitive financing arrangements, approval of the plan of reorganization by required creditors, including at least 75% of known present asbestos claimants, and Halliburton board approval. In July, Halliburton warned the cash required to fund the settlement may modestly exceed $2.78 billion, as a result of an increase in the estimated number of current asbestos claims. If this occurs, the company would need to reach an agreement with the claimant representatives to adjust the settlement matrices to reduce the overall amounts or increase the amounts the company would be willing to pay to resolve its asbestos and silica liabilities, resulting in an additional condition to a Chapter 11 filing. If all remaining conditions are timely satisfied, Halliburton anticipates that DII Industries, Kellogg Brown & Root and the other affected units would make the Chapter 11 filing in November.