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Since the bankruptcy of the major asbestos defendants, plaintiffs’ firms have increasingly turned their attention to smaller players, usually manufacturers of products containing small amounts of encapsulated chrysotile asbestos. One of those defendants, Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, recently obtained a significant ruling when a federal bankruptcy judge determined that the gasket manufacturer’s liability for present and future mesothelioma claims was $125 million, far less than the more than $1 billion that plaintiffs’ firms sought to have the entity set aside for claims. Garlock is not stopping there, however. It has also filed suit against a number of plaintiffs’ firms in an effort to recoup some of the money it has paid out to claimants over the years. How these lawsuits play out will potentially reveal new avenues for asbestos defendants to gain leverage in pending and future high stakes cases.

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