Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a means for resolving mass tort claims
In recent years, a growing number of defendants have sought to use reorganization under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to obtain permanent and complete relief from mass tort claims. Many of these entities were defendants in asbestos bodily injury litigation, and were eligible for the special protections for such claims provided in Bankruptcy Code section 524(g). Yet defendants facing other types of claims – including those alleging bodily injury from silica, talc, silicone breast implants, opioid painkillers, and allegedly defective ear protection – also have pursued relief in bankruptcy cases. Several Roman Catholic dioceses, as well as the Boy Scouts of America, have used chapter 11 to seek permanent solutions to sex abuse claims.