300 East Second Street, Suite 1410
Reno, Nevada 89501
This notice concerns your claim(s) with the above-referenced Trusts (collectively, the “Trusts”), and has been authorized and approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.
Under the terms of an agreement between these Trusts and Michael Mandelbrot, and subsequent order of the Bankruptcy Court, Mandelbrot must transfer all claims for which he serves or has served as counsel to a new attorney of record by July 23, 2014.
If you chose to select new counsel to represent you, or to represent yourself in connection with your claim(s) with the Trusts, YOU MUST DO SO BY JULY 23, 2014 OR YOUR CLAIM MAY BE DEEMED WITHDRAWN. THIS MAY DELAY OR ELIMINATE YOUR RIGHTS TO PAYMENTS FROM THE TRUST(S), including initial payments and any further payments from the Trust(s) in the event of an increase in payment percentage/funds received ratio, and MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL FILING FEES in the event you elect to re-submit your claim following withdrawal.
YOU ARE ADVISED TO CONSULT WITH COUNSEL REGARDING THIS NOTICE.
For additional information regarding this notice, and the background giving rise to this dispute, please see the Bankruptcy Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Order Following Trial, and Judgment, which have been posted on each of the Trusts’ Web sites.
As you are aware, the Trusts are having work done on their systems, which may continue for several weeks. Until further notice, all new claims or deficiency responses must be submitted by mail in paper form to the Trusts at 300 East Second Street, Suite 1410, Reno, Nevada 89501. Claims or deficiency responses that are submitted electronically (e.g. on a CD or other storage media) will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender. The reason is, that during this interim period, the Trust will not have the capacity to process claims in an electronic format. The paper claim form is located on the Trusts’ Websites under the “Claims” tab. In addition to the claim form, you will need to submit the required supporting documents, also in paper format. Further, you need to continue to bookmark and highlight the information you are relying upon within the supporting documents as set forth in the claim filing instructions on the website. One way to bookmark 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 Trusts to locate the information in an efficient manner.
All paper claim submissions will be date and time stamped as they are received at the Trusts. The Trusts will create a master file for each claim received and when the Trusts’ claims processing systems are operating, the Trust will reduce all paper submissions to an electronic format and input them into the claim processing systems as they were received.
Until further notice, the Trusts will return all deficient claims in paper format. You will receive a Content Deficiency Letter (CD Letter) via US mail or other mail carrier. The Trusts will continue to use deficiency codes and reviewer notes regarding the reason the claim is deemed deficient. The Trust will not send the entire claim form or supporting documents back to the submitting firm, only the portion deemed relevant to the deficiency will be returned.
In order to cure any deficiency, you may submit a copy of the CD letter and only include the documentation necessary to cure the deficiency in paper format sent via US mail or other mail carriers. You do not need to resubmit the entire claim package. The Trust will date and time stamp the documentation received and will add it to the claim’s master file.
The Trusts will continue to issue offers on valid claims.
Please continue to follow the current procedures and return the original signed release to the Trust via US mail or other mail carriers within the time allowed pursuant to the Trust Distribution Procedures (TDP) Section 6.3. If the Trusts find that the release is deficient, the Trusts will contact you via phone or e-mail and if necessary send a release deficiency letter.
The Trusts are working diligently to minimize the impact of requiring paper format for filing and processing claims on the payment of claims.
The Trust has hired a well-known cyber security company who was onsite at the Trusts’ physical location for three days at the end of last week. That company is now working to determine the origin of any incursion which may have happened. Preliminarily it does not appear that any data was altered or removed but final review may take several weeks as the Trusts want to be extraordinarily careful. The Trusts are having twice weekly telephone meetings with the company and hope to have information about when the system will be back up and functioning by the end of next week. In the meantime, the Trusts are working to rebuild a read-only system for the processors. This will enable the processors to look at claims already filed and determine if there are deficiencies or offers that can be sent by mail. By Friday of next week the Trusts will make a decision as to whether they need to temporarily implement a paper system for filing claims. Thank you for your patience.
Over last weekend, the Trusts experienced an incursion into their computer systems. When the incursion was discovered, the Trusts’ systems were taken off-line. At the current time, it does not appear that any claimant information was compromised or disclosed. However, the Trusts have retained experts to further evaluate the extent of the incursion. Until the Trusts’ investigation, and any remedial action is completed, the Trusts’ systems will remain off-line. Applicable statute of limitations will be tolled during the period that the Trusts’ systems are off-line, and until alternative filing procedures, if any, are in place. Any questions, should be directed to the Trusts.
The claims processing FTP server is down for maintenance. Please check back later for updates.
The Declaratory Relief Adversary Proceedings filed by the J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust and the Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust regarding the Trusts’ conduct in investigating Michael J. Mandelbrot and the Mandelbrot Law firm, as well as the Trusts’ Motion For Instructions Regarding (1) the Trusts’ Audit Findings Regarding Mandelbrot and (2) the Trusts’ Remedy, have been resolved by stipulation placed on the record in open court on January 23, 2014. A link to a copy of the court’s docket entry is set forth below. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law conforming to the stipulation are due to be filed with the court by February 11, 2014, and a tentative hearing date has been set to hear any disputes arising out of finalizing the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on February 18, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. before the Honorable Sheri Bluebond, Courtroom 1475, 255 E. Temple St. 14th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90012. J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust and the Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust vs. Michael J. Mandelbrot and the Mandelbrot Law firm, Case No. 12-ap-02182, United States Bankruptcy Court Central District of California.
PDF of Docket Entry No. 186
The Trustees, with consent of the Trust Advisory Committee (“TAC”) and Futures Representative (“FR”) suspend the Phase One Pro Bono Evaluation Proceedings (Binding and Non-Binding) effective Tuesday, January 14, 2014.
Claimants who desire to exercise their right to Arbitration under Section 5.9 of the First Amendment to and Complete Restatement of the Western Asbestos Company/Western Mac Arthur Co./Mac Arthur Co. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust Distribution Procedures (“TDP”) may do so by providing the Trust’s Administrator with a written request for Arbitration within ninety (90) days of either a claim being rejected by the Trust, or a rejection by the claimant of a Trust offer. Upon receipt of a written request for Arbitration, the Trust within ten (10) days, will send to claimant an Election Form and Agreement for Binding or Non-Binding Arbitration.
If the Trust has already received an Evaluation by Document Election Agreement prior to January 14, 2014, that claim is unaffected.
The following is a list of the modifications to the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust Built and Repair Ship Lists approved at the September 2013 Trustees' meeting.
Ships removed from the Western Built List:
Modifications to the Western Ships Built List:
Ship removed from the Western Ships Repaired List:
Ship added to the Western Ships Repaired List
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Western Asbestos Settlement Trust’s Ninth Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Roger L. Efremsky, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, located at 1300 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612 in Room 201.
Section 4.2 of the Trust Distribution Procedures requires that the Payment Percentage be reconsidered no less frequently than once every three years. The Payment Percentage was last reviewed on February 18, 2010 (see notices of all reviews and changes in Archive notices). On February 7, 2013, the Payment Percentage was again reviewed and it remains at 44%.
The following is a synopsis of the modifications to the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust Built and Repair Ship Lists approved at the September 20, 2012 Trustees' meeting.
Ships removed from the Western Built List:
Ship removed from the Western Repaired List:
Ships added to the Western Built List:
The following modifications to the California Land Site List were approved at the April 19, 2012 Trustees' meeting:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Western Asbestos Settlement Trust's Eighth Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Roger L. Efremsky, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, located at 1300 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612 in Room 201.
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 February 2012 Trustees' meeting must be received by the Trust on or before Friday, January 6, 2012.
The Trust welcomes comments from Trust claimants, beneficiaries and law firms that file claims with the Trust. The Trustees invariably will seek the advice of the Trust Advisory Committee and Futures Representative with regard to any comments seeking to modify Trust policies or set priorities on Trust agendas or finances. The Trust recommends that claimants or their attorneys make an effort to discuss those issues either with the Trust Advisory Committee or the Futures Representative, or both, as appropriate, before raising these issues with the Trustees or the Trust staff.
A modification to the Western Built Ships List was approved at the September 15, 2011 Trustees’ meeting. The modification is listed below and the new list has been posted on the Trust Web site. Please review the list, which includes a modification column for reference purposes.
The Ninth Amendment to and Complete Restatement of Trust Agreement and First Amendment to and Complete Restatement of Matrix have been added to the Trust Documents section of the site.
The 2010 Annual report is now posted. Click the link to download.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a hearing on the motion to approve Western Asbestos Settlement Trust's Seventh Annual Report and Accounting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. before United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, the Honorable Roger L. Efremsky, at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, located at 1300 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612 in Room 201.
Pursuant to Section I(d) of the Matrix, the Trust may require additional information to assure that such evidence provided to the Trust is reliable. Therefore, any claim that is partially supported by a declaration to verify claimant's presence at a site, asbestos exposure, and/or dates of exposure, or any other facts relevant to the claim must meet these requirements:
Modifications to the Western Ships Built List, Western Ships Repaired List, and Minnesota On-Land list were approved at the February 17, 2011 Trustees meeting. The modifications are listed below and the new lists have been posted on the Trust Web site. Please review the lists, which include a modification column for reference purposes.
|Shipyard||Start Date||End Date||Name of Ship||Contents|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||1-Dec-47||1-Dec-48||ADM D.W. TAYLOR||scrapped 1974|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||1-Apr-48||1-Apr-49||ADM F.B. UPHAM||scrapped 1984|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||1-Sep-44||1-Sep-45||ADM W.L. CAPPS||sunk 2000|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||4-Feb-43||4-Feb-44||CHICKSAW||struck 1999|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||28-Mar-43||28-Mar-44||CREE||sunk 1978|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||20-Feb-19||20-Feb-20||HAZELWOOD||scrapped 1935|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||29-Apr-43||29-Apr-44||LIPAN||sunk 1990|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||29-May43||29-May-44||MATACO||scrapped 1979|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||25-Sep-42||25-Sep-43||MENOMINEE|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||29-Sep-43||29-Sep-44||MOLALA|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||30-Oct-43||30-Oct-44||MUNSEE||struck 1969|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||17-Dec-43||17-Dec-44||PAKANA||sunk 1975|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||31-Mar-42||31-Mar-43||PAWNEE||struck 1962|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||12-Feb-44||12-Feb-45||POTOWATOMI||suck 1965|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||6-May-44||6-May-45||QUPAW||struck 1992|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||24-Jun-44||24-Jun-45||Sarsi||lost 1952|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||22-Sep-44||22-Sep-45||SERRANO|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||12-Jun-42||12-Jun-43||SIOUX|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||3-AUG-44||3-AUG-45||TAKELMA|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||15-Sep-44||15-Sep-45||TAWAKONI|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||18-Sep-44||18-Sep45||TENINO||struck 1961|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||26-Dec44||26-Dec-45||TOLOWA||struck 1970|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||13-DEC-42||13-DEC-43||UTE||sunk 1991|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||17-Feb-45||17-Feb-45||WATEREE||sunk 1945|
|Bethlehem Steel -- San Francisco, CA||24-Mar-45||24-Mar-46||WENATCHEE|
RESOLVED that the Trustees, in agreement with the TAC and Futures Representative, do hereby amend the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust Case Valuation Matrix Section IV (vii) as follows:
vii. Medical Causation. The following adjustments apply to Injured Persons who have different smoking histories and/or medical findings than those described for the base Other Cancer case. In no event can any of the adjustments listed below be combined for an overall causation adjustment in excess of 3.0 OCA.
|Pathological diagnosis of asbestosis, or occupational levels of asbestos bodies or asbestos fibers in lung tissue||2.0 OCA|
|Clinical diagnosis of asbestosis (in absence of pathological diagnosis)||1.5 OCA|
|No radiographic evidence of asbestos exposure and no Increased fiber burden as a marker of asbestos exposure||.25 OCA|
|Lifetime non-smoker||2.0 OCA|
|1-20 pack-years of smoking||1.2 OCA|
|Over 80 pack-years of smoking||.6 OCA|
|Diagnosis over 10 years since Injured Person quit smoking||1.2 OCA|
|Diagnosis over 15 years since Injured Person quit smoking||1.5 OCA|