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Energy Future Holdings (EFH) Bankruptcy

EFH bankruptcy

Energy Future Holdings (EFH), a $36 billion company, with known asbestos claims against it, has filed for bankruptcy and seeks to drastically limit the legal rights of all its past, present and future asbestos victims.  Read on to learn if this may impact you or your family.

EFH’s power plants are situated throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.  EFH related companies include Ebasco, EECI, Enserch, Lone Star, Luminant and TXU, among others.  About 70 companies are part of EFH.

View all the EFH plant listings:

Domestic EFH plants

International EFH plants

All EFH site employees, contractors, and family members are at risk of having been exposed to asbestos.  If you now have mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease diagnosis and you or a family member worked at any EFH site, you must file a claim.  But even if you are healthy now, if an EFH site is part of your or a family member’s work history, you must file a claim now.  Otherwise your future legal rights will be lost if you ever do get sick.

You or your attorney must file a claim with the EFH Claims Processing Center by 5 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 14, 2015, or you will forever lose all rights to make any EFH asbestos claims against this corporate giant and its insurance companies.  A qualified asbestos attorney can file the claim for you.  He or she can help you with the documentation you will need to verify you or a family member worked at a site covered by the bankruptcy.  Don’t try to do it yourself!  If you already have an asbestos attorney, call him or her.  Otherwise, call us!

At Kazan Law, we do not charge any fee for this service.  You won’t have to pay us anything unless and until we get you money.

Why Asbestos Claims Against Energy Future Holdings (EFH) Must Be Filed Even If You’re Not Ill

There are rules that set a time limit for filing claims for people who are ill or die from an asbestos-related disease, but these bankruptcy time limits are not fair.  A diagnosis or death of a family member from a disease such as mesothelioma, a disease caused ONLY by asbestos, motivates you to figure out how that disease came about.  But if you are not now ill, there is very little motivation.  On top of that, the EFH deadline is extremely short – all claims against EFH must be filed by December 14, 2015.

Filing a claim now guarantees your rights later;  it protects your future legal rights.  If you already have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you should immediately consult an asbestos attorney about filing a claim.  But even if you have not been diagnosed, you and your family members should file an asbestos claim if you or a family member worked at one of the designated EFH power plants or for a related EFH company and thus may have been exposed to asbestos.

Be aware that you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers without knowing it.  You may have been exposed at work or from clothing, tools, or the car of a family member who was exposed.

Learn more about asbestos-related diseases.  Once asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can damage your lungs and cause cancer.  Mesothelioma, for example, is a lethal cancer of the cells lining the lungs or abdomen.  It is caused only by exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma can emerge anywhere from 10 to 50 years after asbestos exposure.

Learn more about keeping track of your health – what you and your doctor should do to keep track of your health if you have ever been exposed to asbestos.

So if you or a family member ever worked at an EFH site or for one of the EFH companies and may have been exposed to asbestos, talk to a qualified asbestos attorney for help in filing a claim.  Your future depends on it.

How to Get Help

Fill out our asbestos claim form with some initial information about your situation.  We will contact you to answer any questions and provide free advice on whether you should file a claim with the EFH Claims Processing Center or file any other claim.  If we together decide you should file a claim and if you wish us to file an EFH claim for you, we will ask you to complete and sign a form authorizing us to represent you for that purpose.

Submitting the form to Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, A Professional Law Corporation, does not mean it is submitted in the EFH Bankruptcy matter.  The Bankruptcy Claim Form deadline is Monday, December 14, 2015.  Our signed FORM and our SIGNED PROOF OF REPRESENTATION must be received in our office by Monday, December 7, 2015, AND we must be able to speak with you by close of business that day in order for us to prepare your formal claim form for submission.

Act now before it’s too late!

 

Bankruptcy Allows EFH to Escape Responsibility for Potential Asbestos Claims

EFH  declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on April 29, 2014 – the bankruptcy covers about 70 of EFH separate companies.  The bankruptcy request listed assets of $36.5 billion and debt totaling $49.7 billion.  Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow EFH to “continue normal business operations while it reorganizes its balance sheet.”  It will give EFH “the opportunity to reduce [its] debt, lower [its] annual cash interest costs and access significant additional capital” – that is to continue in business or be sold.

Future asbestos victims, however, will have no real opportunity to seek justice against EFH under this plan.  EFH currently has asbestos claims filed against it.  But there are many more individuals who may in the future become ill from asbestos exposure caused by EFH or at any of its facilities.

Normally, the bankruptcy court would establish a special trust for future asbestos victims for a company with potential asbestos liability, but in this case did not do so.  The court instead allowed EFH to set a bar date – that is a date by which all persons – whether ill now or in the future –  must file a claim.  You can review the court order of January 7, 2015, the court order of July 15, 2015 for filing an asbestos claim, the Legal Notice for power plant employees, and the detailed Notice for power plant employees.  This EFH material is available in Spanish as well.

Our firm strenuously objected to the court cutting off the rights of future asbestos victims who were not now ill and could have no idea that in the future they might become ill or die from an asbestos-related disease.  You can review the EFH objection filed by our counsel in August, 2014, as well as the accompanying Exhibit A and Exhibit B, and our supplemental brief filed in September, 2014.  We renewed our objections in June, 2015, and on July 31, 2015, we filed a motion asking the court to appoint a legal representative for all future EFH claimants including the current unmanifested asbestos claimants and those who will in the future develop relationships giving rise to such claims; the court denied this request.  A specific law governs this situation and would have allowed the appointment of a “futures representative” and required an estimate of how much should be set aside for future victims.  That approach would have been more fair to those not now ill;  but the court refused.

Our firm objected because so many people will be denied their rights.  Those who have a connection to EFH, to its subsidiaries or to its power plants, and who are not now ill – particularly family members who may have been exposed through asbestos unwittingly brought home from work – can’t imagine becoming ill 20 or more years from now.  Although EFH is required to publish notices about the filing deadline in newspapers and also required to directly contact former employees, among others, many people may simply not understand that this deadline applies to them.  The deadline applies to everyone – ill or not.  Please share this information with anyone you know who may be affected.