Bondex International manufactured a range of asbestos containing products for many years. The products included joint compounds and various other home improvement products. As years have passed, many people have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers and diseases as a result of exposure to Bondex asbestos products. Bondex has therefore been named in lawsuits by a number of those victims.
Bondex’s parent company, RPM International, on May 31, 2010 put Bondex into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This means that Bondex cannot be sued any more for any diseases caused by its asbestos products, as it now has bankruptcy protection.
Even though RPM International did not itself file for bankruptcy protection, it will ask to court to halt any lawsuits against RPM for diseases caused by its subsidiary Bondex’s products. Although that may not seem like a fair or just result, often a parent company is able under the bankruptcy laws to get the benefit of its subsidiary’s bankruptcy protection.
Typically, under section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, when an asbestos company files for Chapter 11 protection, it must create an administrative trust to provide some amount of compensation to victims of its asbestos products. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take up to ten years or more before the trust is established, so in the meantime the asbestos victims are powerless to pursue any claims against the company.