Processing Magazine

Montana Asbestos Victims Consider $43 Million Deal

March 8, 2011

According to the Associated Press, more than 1,100 victims of asbestos contamination are nearing a $43 million settlement over claims that Montana health officials failed to warn miners about the hazards of a deadly vermiculite mine, documents from the case show. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands sickened following decades of exposure to asbestos from the now-shuttered W.R. Grace & Co. mine in the small northwestern Montana town of Libby. Claimant notices obtained by The Associated Press show at least 1,125 victims are considering a deal that calls for payments ranging from $21,500 to the $60,700, depending on the severity of sickness. Terms of the deal were first reported by the Daily Inter Lake. In 2004, the Montana Supreme Court said the state should have warned miners about hazards first identified by state officials in Libby in the 1950s. Attorneys for the state and victims have since been negotiating terms of a monetary settlement under which state agencies would be released from future liability.