Asbestos victims win compensation
By Laura Thorpe, Sept 22, 2006, Chard and Ilminster News
THOUSANDS of asbestos victims have finally won a £95million compensation battle against Turner & Newall, the company which owned Ilminster-based bearings firm The Glacier Metal Company.
Many former employees of Turner & Newall contracted mesothelioma, a cancer which attacks tissue lining, and brought compensation claims against the company.
American company Federal-Mogul took over Turner & Newall in 1998 and went into administration in 2001, leading to all compensation payments being frozen.
But last week creditors and administrators approved proposals which should enable compensation claims up to £100,000 to be paid.
The administrators were unable to tell the News whether workers in Ilminster had brought any claims relating to the period of Turner and Newall's ownership.
James Gleave, joint administrator and partner in Kroll's Corporate Advisory & Restructuring Group, said: "We're delighted that the creditors have approved the Company Voluntary Arrangements proposal put forward.
"This is a significant step forward to exiting administration.
"We've worked hard with the Federal-Mogul Corporation Inc, the US Creditor Committees and the Pension Protection Fund to secure the terms of the Settlement Agreement, which has resulted in a £415 million payment for creditors.
"Following the formalisation of legal proceedings we will now be beginning the process of distributing monies."
Gavin Roberts, the Bristol branch manager of Thompsons solicitors, acting on behalf of a number of claimants, said: "This is the end of a long and difficult road for claimants who have had five years of stalemate and inertia.
"It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. While it's unlikely that any claimant will receive full compensation, it nevertheless brings to an end the uncertainty for many families.
"We expect the first payments to start in early 2007 and to continue throughout the year."
Daido Industrial Bearings Europe now occupies the site of The Glacier Metal Company in Ilminster but The Glacier Metal Company no longer exists.