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Asbestos: Congoleum law firm had conflict of interest

The New York Times reports: a Third Circuit panel has ruled that bankrupt floor coverings maker Congoleum should not have hired to advise it on resolving asbestos claims the Washington, D.C. law firm of Gilbert, Heintz & Randolph (GHR), which suffered a rather drastic conflict of interest in the matter since it already represented asbestos claimants with interests adverse to Congoleum's. The ruling appears to add fuel to suspicions that plaintiff's law firms sometimes get cut into favorable positions in asbestos bankruptcies at the expense of other affected parties (more, more, more (PDF)). For an earlier case in which asbestos plaintiff's counsel came in for criticism for profitably working both sides of the street, see OL Mar. 15-16, 2003 (South Carolina's Joe Rice cut deal for $20 million personal fee payable by an asbestos defendant, the Combustion Engineering subsidiary of ABB).

And: Shannon P. Duffy at Philadelphia's Legal Intelligencer has much more, including extensive quotes from our own Prof. Lester Brickman, the number one expert in this area.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.