Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, a manufacturer of fluid-sealing products and a wholly owned subsidiary of EnPro Industries Inc., received approval of a voluntary petition it filed on June 5 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte to establish a trust to resolve all current and future asbestos claims against the company under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The filing includes the Garrison Litigation Management Group, Ltd., which manages Garlock’s asbestos claims and relationships with its insurers, and The Anchor Packing Company, which ceased operations in the mid-1990s.

Garlock previously manufactured products which contained asbestos and has defended claims regarding exposure to asbestos in gasket sealing products for 35 years. Garlock has processed more than 900,000 asbestos claims to conclusion (including judgments, settlements and dismissals) and, together with its insurers, has paid over $1.4 billion in settlements and judgments and over $400 million in fees and expenses.

Garlock anticipates that the process will not disrupt service to customers, that suppliers will be paid in full, that employees will retain their salaries and benefits and that retiree pensions and other benefits will continue to be paid in the ordinary course. Garlock has obtained $10 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from Bank of America, which, subject to court approval, would provide additional liquidity, if necessary, during the process.

Garlock will operate in the ordinary course under court protection from asbestos claimants while in the claims resolution process available under Chapter 11. All pending litigation against Garlock will be stayed as the company seeks to develop and implement a court-approved plan to permanently resolve all asbestos-related claims. Garlock plans to negotiate with representatives of asbestos claimants to establish a trust to pay all valid claims. Absent a negotiated resolution, Garlock intends to ask the court to determine the amount necessary to fund the trust.

The petition covers only Garlock operations in Palmyra, New York and Houston, Texas. Garlock Rubber Technologies, Garlock Helicoflex, Pikotek, Technetics, Garlock Europe and Garlock operations in Canada, Mexico or Australia are not affected by the filing, nor is EnPro Industries or any other EnPro operating subsidiary.