Funds Received Ratio/Electronic System
Pursuant to section 2.3 of the TDP, and based upon further information provided to the Trust’s expert economist, the Trustees have set the Funds Received Ratio to 8.6% of the total liquidated claim value. The Futures Representative and the Trust Advisory Committee (through its Chairman) have consented. The forms of release were approved at the year-end Trust meeting and provided to the firms that had submitted claims. Payments on Plant claims will be sent before year end. The Plant electronic system will be available to firms within the next three weeks.
New Document Posted
The Fifth Amended and Completely Restated Plant Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust Agreement has been posted to the Trust Documents page.
Pre-Petition Trust Claims
The Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust is in the process of identifying Pre-Petition Trust Claims to be processed and paid pursuant to Section 5.5 of the Trust Distribution Procedures. Claims that were liquidated by a settlement agreement or judgment entered into on or before May 20, 2009, should be submitted to the Trust no later than June 8, 2015 for review. Processing of Pre-Petition Trust Claims submitted without proper documentation will be significantly delayed. As well, processing of Pre-Petition Trust Claims submitted after June 8, 2015 will be significantly delayed.
The Trust will require all documentation demonstrating the validity of the settlement or judgment, together with evidence of prior amounts received and/or amounts remaining unpaid. Submissions may be sent by e-mail to email@example.com, or by electronic media, or in paper form to Laura Paul, Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust, 300 East Second Street, Suite 1410, Reno, NV 89501.
New Web Based Claim System
As you may have been previously notified, the Trusts have been working to develop a new claim processing system which will allow for Web based claim submissions. The new web based system is nearing its first completion date where the Trusts can begin accepting new claims and resubmission of current pending claims. The Trusts wanted to notify all filers of some important upcoming dates. If these dates change dramatically, you will be notified and the new dates will be posted on each Trust’s Web site.
June 22, 2015 is the last day the Trusts will be able to process claim offers, releases and payments in the current claim processing system. Please send all signed releases to each of the Trusts before this date. If, for some reason, releases are not received by this date, the releases will be processed in the new system which will mean an approximate six week delay.
June 26, 2015 is the last day you may submit new claims or resubmit claims through the existing site to the existing system. At 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time on Friday, the Trusts will close access to the existing claim processing system for all submitting firms. However, if you have a claim that has a potential statute of limitations issue, please submit your claim to the appropriate Trust in paper format to the following address:
Attn: Laura Paul
300 East Second Street, Suite 1410
Reno, Nevada 89501
Please note that between June 26, 2015 and July 20, 2015 firms may submit paper claims if they so choose.
June 29, 2015 Prior to this date, the Trusts will send out firm reports which will include the status of all the claims submitted by your firm. Once you receive the reports, we ask that you immediately compare your firm report to your database and let us know if any claim is not accounted for within the report you receive.
July 13, 2015 the Trust staff will begin data entry on the Trust side of the new system. If your firm has not previously worked with and/or filed claims with a Web based system and is interested in training, please let us know. Once we begin to accept claims we will set up go-to-meetings for individual firm training.
July 20, 2015 is the day the Trusts plan to begin accepting new claims and resubmissions of pending claims in the new system.
August 2015 the Trusts are planning on making claim payments within the first few weeks of August for releases received after June 22, 2015.
The Trusts appreciate all your patience and assistance as we change our filing system. We believe and hope that the changes will allow each firm to view its claims online, as well as run reports concerning claims.
Please feel free to contact Laura Paul directly concerning claims, dates or any other concerns you may have with claim processing. The Trusts will continue to notify each firm as we get closer to July 20, 2015.
Annual Report-Updated Hearing Time
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust’s Third Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Friday, June 26, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Thomas E. Carlson, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, located at 235 Pine Street, San Francisco, California 94104 in Courtroom 24.
Preliminary Site List
On April 16, 2015, the Trustees, with the consent of the Futures Representative and the Trust Advisory Committee, approved a Preliminary Plant Asbestos Site List to assist claimants in meeting their burden of establishing or characterizing exposure to Plant Products under the terms of the Case Valuation Matrix. (Matrix Section VII (b)) The list has been posted on the Claims Packet Page. The claimant continues to be responsible to present information describing the circumstances of adequate exposure at a site identified on the list and the Trust will continue to consider all appropriate evidence of exposure. (Matrix VII (a)). The Trustees expect that the list will continue to evolve as more information becomes available in the course of processing and liquidating claims. (“The Trust with consent of the TAC and Futures Representative may modify the list in light of additional evidence or experience with claims processing.” Matrix VII (b)) Notwithstanding the rating assigned a site on the list, claimants may continue to “… submit additional evidence … in support of a higher exposure categorization in a particular case.”
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust’s Third Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Thomas E. Carlson, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, located at 235 Pine Street, San Francisco, California 94104 in Courtroom 24.
Timing of Requests for Consideration at September 2015 Trustees’ Meeting
Any requests for revisions to Trust policies or procedures, physician certification, modifications to an approved list, and/or TDP/Matrix interpretations or questions to be considered during the September 2015 Trustees’ meeting must be received by the Trust on or before Monday, August 10, 2015.
Funds Received Ratio
Pursuant to section 2.3 of the TDP and based upon the analysis of the Trust’s expert economist, the Trustees have set the Initial Funds Received Ratio at 9% of the total liquidated claim value. The Futures Representative and the Trust Advisory Committee (through its Chairman) have consented.
Compliance with Court Order
The following notification was sent on this date to firms which submit, and may in the future submit, claims to the Trust. On behalf of the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust, J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust, Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust, and the Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust (collectively “Trusts”), we are writing to all attorneys and firms who regularly submit, and may in the future submit, claims to these Trusts to request your cooperation with the Trusts’ ongoing effort to insure that only reliable evidence is provided in support of claims. As you likely know from the Trusts’ websites, issues in litigation concerning Michael J. Mandelbrot and the Mandelbrot Law Firm were reduced to judgment in 2014. (See the attached copies of the Judgment and some of the related documents.) In discharging Trust responsibilities to scrutinize all evidence for reliability, and in light of recent information that Mr. Mandelbrot has continued to be actively involved, we are asking that your firm confirm to the Trust that the evidence you are submitting is in compliance with the Court Order, and especially to inform the Trust if and, if so, where Mr. Mandelbrot has been involved in preparation of evidence submitted under oath or affirmation in support of claims. Most specifically, we are reviewing declaration and interrogatory evidence concerning exposure. If you have questions that you would like to discuss with the Trust, please email or call us. We are following up at this time informally to determine if further investigation and/or audits will be required.
Paper Claims Submissions
The Trust is completing work on a new Web-based claim processing system that likely will be up and running in late spring. The Trust also is working to identify possible Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust sites, create a preliminary site list, and to establish the Funds Received Ratio. None of these have been completed at this time, but work is continuing. In the meantime, the Plant Trust pursuant to the Trust Distribution Procedures and Case Valuation Matrix will start accepting paper format claims. At this time, all claims must be submitted on paper by mail to the Plant Trust at 300 East Second Street, Suite 1410, Reno, Nevada 89501. Claims that are submitted on a CD or other storage media will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender. The paper claim form is located on the Trust’s Website www.pastrust.com under the “Claims” tab. In addition to the claim form, claimants will need to submit the required supporting documents, also in paper format, and to bookmark and highlight the information relied upon within the supporting documents. (One way to bookmark and highlight the paper claims is to circle the information on the specific page and then place a marker or sticky tab on the relevant page. This will allow the Trust to locate the pertinent information in an efficient manner). The Trust does not yet have an approved site list. Therefore, each claim must include reliable exposure evidence, including documents bookmarked and highlighted, supporting qualifying exposure at a site or sites. Failure to submit site back up documents will cause claim processing delays or rejection. The Trust will date and time stamp claim submissions as they are received and will create a master file for each claim. In addition to your claim submission, please include your $250.00 filing fee for each claim submitted. When the Trust’s Web-based claims processing system is operational, the Plant Trust will reduce all paper submissions to an electronic format and input them into the new Web-based claim processing system in the order they were received. The Trust does not anticipate paying any Plant Trust claims until after the new Web-based claim processing system is in place. However, the Trust will immediately begin to process paper claims, endeavor to resolve any claims issues and prepare claims for offers to be made as early as is feasible after the new system is in place.