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Corinne Ball is a partner at Jones Day. Corinne Ball

A resurgence in mass-tort cases has renewed interest in channeling injunctions, particularly as they protect contributing insurers. While channeling injunctions in asbestos bankruptcy cases are issued pursuant to §524(g), they remain subject to the jurisdictional limitations imposed upon bankruptcy generally. The asbestos provision in §524(g) was modeled on the injunction issued by Judge John Lifland in Johns-Manville to help solve the complications associated with asbestos litigation. Judge Lifland’s ruling in Johns-Manville is believed to be the first in which unknown future claimants—those who had been exposed to asbestos, but were not yet exhibiting symptoms due to the decades-long latency period for asbestos-related diseases—were specifically included in a bankruptcy arrangement. The logic of that case remains relevant to utilizing channeling injunctions to protect contributors to central settlements intended to resolve mass-tort Chapter 11 cases that are not asbestos related.

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