Shook & Fletcher is a provider of industrial insulation materials based out of Birmingham, Alabama. The company was founded in 1901 and specialized in products that were manufactured out of brick, iron, coal and other materials. By 1949 they had entered the insulation manufacturing business and produced a variety of related products at the six separate manufacturing facilities they operate.
For years one of the primary materials used by Shook & Fletcher was a naturally occurring mineral called asbestos. It was considered to be perfect for these products because it had the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and even water or fire. One problem with asbestos was that miniscule particles that were too small to be seen could easily become dislodged from the insulation and float in the air. Unsuspecting people who worked around anything that contained asbestos could easily inhale these particles without their knowledge.
As researchers continued to study asbestos, they made a discovery which would change things drastically: asbestos was toxic and can be extremely hazardous to anyone who breathes it in. They found that even the smallest bit of the material can cause severe respiratory damage, lung diseases and worst of all mesothelioma, a form of asbestos cancer. with a low survival rate. There are several different mesothelioma cell types (i.e. papillary mesothelioma, sarcomatoid mesothelioma etc.) but they all carry a similar prognosis. Treatment is available at leading mesothelioma clinics where top doctors like Dr. David Sugarbaker practice. To help those who have been diagnosed with this cancer we have put together a mesothelioma treatment guide and mesothelioma resources page.
Workers began to develop mesothelioma after spending time near products that contained asbestos, and these victims as well as their families, filed personal injury lawsuits against Shook & Fletcher. The claims began to come in at an alarming rate, and soon became overwhelming.
To deal with the onslaught of claims, Shook & Fletcher filed for a type of bankruptcy that would allow them to reorganize and continue operating without the burden of ongoing claims. They sought out assistance from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a law firm that handles asbestos related cases. The firm was hired to work out the details of the bankruptcy and establish a mandatory trust fund for current and future victims of exposure. The Shook & Fletcher Asbestos Settlement Trust would handle all unresolved and incoming claims, and make payments on an as needed basis. Amounts for each pay out are at the discretion of the trustees, and determined by the severity of the case that has brought forward.