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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 3, 2014--(PR Newswire)--

Garlock Has No One but Itself to Blame for Bankruptcy, Says Attorney for Asbestos Plaintiffs' Law Firm

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the unsealing of documents in the bankruptcy of Garlock Sealing Technologies, the lead attorney for one of the law firms representing asbestos plaintiffs says the unsealed documents will show that efforts to discredit his client are an attempt to cast blame for the company's failure on someone other than the company's management.

Following an earlier ruling from U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer of the Western District of North Carolina, documents were unsealed today in a lawsuit against Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC and other law firms representing asbestos plaintiffs in litigation against Garlock.

Michael W. Magner, lead attorney for Simon Greenstone, welcomed the opportunity for the public and the legal profession to see details of the lawsuit.

"This lawsuit represents nothing more than a frivolous effort to discourage victims of asbestos products and their representatives from seeking just compensation," Mr. Magner said. "If the case against my clients is not dismissed by the Court, there will be much more to come in the way of documents and testimony when the case enters the discovery phase of the litigation.  We will push for all communications between Garlock and its attorneys to be unsealed so we can identify for the public the individuals responsible for Garlock's bankruptcy."

"Simon Greenstone and its attorneys aggressively and skillfully represented terminally ill mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Garlock," he said. "They did so within the bounds of the legal and ethical constraints of our adversarial civil justice system.  Simon Greenstone zealously represented their dying clients – many of whom were veterans of our armed forces – as is every attorney's sworn obligation under the law."

"As the manufacturer of admittedly dangerous asbestos-containing products, Garlock made a considered decision to do what most civil litigants do:  settle," Magner continued.  "Garlock sized up the situations it faced and mitigated its potential downside losses by settling early. This strategy is reflected in the contemporaneous correspondence of their national settlement counsel, as reflected in Simon Greenstone's filings in the court record. Indeed, at the time of the settlements, Garlock's attorney stated that the settlements were in his client's interests."

"Garlock had every opportunity to investigate its defenses, to seek the intervention of the courts to obtain additional information or seek sanctions, and to contest the evidence before a fact finder," he said. "Garlock chose not to do these things in favor of a strategy of settling cases quickly in an effort to keep its legal expenses down and avoid the risk of going to trial.  This strategy led to Garlock's bankruptcy and someone in management should answer for it.  Instead, Garlock is desperately seeking somewhere else to cast the blame and, rather than blame their own lawyers, whose selection could be traced back to the officers and directors Garlock is trying to save, they blamed plaintiff lawyers generally and my clients in particular."

"Garlock's current allegations are revisionist history, and fly in the face of reason and common sense. Garlock has no one but its officers, attorneys, and consultants to blame for what in hindsight was a failed litigation strategy."

For more information, contact Michael W. Magner at mmagner@joneswalker.com or 504-582-8316.

SOURCE Simon Greenstone

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