The bankruptcy system is a simpler, more effective means of providing relief to current and future tort claimants than the mass tort litigation system. ILR’s latest research proves this point, beginning with a discussion of the serious deficiencies in multidistrict litigations (MDLs) and class actions when it comes to aggregating assets and equitably distributing relief to current and future injured claimants. The paper then discusses the bankruptcy mechanism’s comparative strength in consolidating assets, using the experience of asbestos bankruptcy trusts as an empirical proof point, and describes a set of reforms to better the bankruptcy system’s improvable approach to claim evaluation and fund distribution.
The paper concludes that the bankruptcy system is an essential option for claimants and defendants when it comes to fairly and efficiently resolving mass tort claims, given the many failures of mass tort litigation. But it can and should be improved.