W.R. Grace, With Ties to Maryland, Emerges From Bankruptcy

According to the Associated Press, W.R. Grace, a Maryland-based chemical company forced into bankruptcy because of asbestos-related lawsuits, has emerged from Chapter 11 protection.

The AP reported that the company posted on its website last week that its reorganization plan had gone into effect. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Grace employs more than 6,500 people nationally and more than 1,000 people in Maryland, and has offices in Baltimore and Columbia.

The company also operates a major manufacturing facility in Curtis Bay, as well as its headquarters and a research-and-development facility at its Columbia campus, according to the AP.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the company’s joint plan of reorganization went into effect on February 3, establishing two trusts that will award more than $4 billion to personal injury claimants and property owners. “It has been expected perhaps for longer than we would want, but nonetheless we’re very pleased to move on,” said Rich Badmington, Grace’s vice president of global communications.

The company faced more than 100,000 asbestos-related claims at the time of its bankruptcy filing. Grace likely will have about $3 billion in revenue when it reports results for 2013 next week, according to the Sun.

“One of the biggest benefits of emergence is the removal of uncertainty,” Badmington said, according to the paper. “For some time now, we’ve known where we’re taking the business. Now that can be our exclusive focus.”

Due to asbestos and mesothelioma litigation, plaintiffs in lawsuits claimed more than $7 billion in liabilities, while Grace settled for about $4 billion. According to the Sun, Grace submitted a plan for reorganization to a Delaware bankruptcy judge in 2010 that called for it to pay off all other “allowed claims” in full.

Need a Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Although primarily corporations and businesses use it, Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is available to individuals with certain levels of debt. Chapter 11 allows debtors the opportunity to remain in business and avoid liquidation of their assets. A good example of an individual Chapter 11 case occurred recently when former NFL star Vince Young filed for bankruptcy.

An individual who has unsecured debt may be facing the same difficult decisions as Grace’s. Unlike a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to discharge unsecured debt, like credit card debt or medical bills, which often go unpaid when financial issues arise.

If you are facing the threat of bill collectors, you can contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer now for a free consultation. Our attorney wants to help you relieve the stress associated with collectors. Call us today at (202) 888-8454.

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