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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Georgia-Pacific LLC affiliate seeks Chapter 11 protection

There are many unexpected financial obstacles that businesses in Oklahoma and across the country face. While many retailers, for example, have been struggling as some consumers switch to making the bulk of their purchases online, some manufacturers are struggling as a result of litigation related to products containing asbestos. An affiliate of Georgia-Pacific LLC, Bestwall LLC, has recently sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over such litigation.

Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally. Because of its durability in the face of a heat source, it was once used in a variety of different products. However, it is now known that asbestos causes deadly cancers such as mesothelioma. Although Bestwall LLC claims that its products were only responsible for a small amount of exposure related to asbestos, it asserts that it is named in approximately 80 percent of cases involving claims of mesothelioma each year.

Unfortunately, Bestwall legal costs regarding asbesto cases have risen significantly. It now pays an average of $160 million each year in comparison to $6 million a year less than two decades ago. Its recent bankruptcy filing will allow the company to continue to operate normally and will not impact Georgia-Pacific.

Multiple different factors can impact a business' overall financial success. Often, decisions that were made decades before by people no longer involved in the company can result in a great deal of debt in modern day, especially with asbestos lawsuits that frequently name multiple defendants. To help manage overwhelming debt, many companies in Oklahoma choose to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after consulting with an experienced attorney.

Source: Reuters, "Georgia-Pacific unit seeks bankruptcy in wake of asbestos cases", Tom Hals, Nov. 2, 2017

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