Owens Corning entered into bankruptcy proceedings in 2000, during which, all claims against the company filed before 2006 were ‘extinguished’. Prior to the bankruptcy, the company was liable for millions of dollars in lawsuits related to asbestos.
In 2009, Owens Corning was sued by two customers, Kevin West and Patricia Wright, whose roofs leaked allegedly due to split shingles. The court ruled the claims arose when the plaintiffs discovered the defects in the shingles, and were hence valid under Avellino v. Frenville.
However, in 2010, the 3rd Circuit Court overturned the ruling under the new adoption of In re Grossman’s Inc., where a woman developed an asbestos related disease allegedly from building materials used in her home. The court found that the exposure to the building products occurred prior to Grossman’s bankruptcy, effectively ‘extinguishing’ the woman’s claim.
On Friday, the 3rd Circuit Court found that because the suits against Owens Corning were filed prior to In re Grossman, and because the potential class action regarding the shingles was filed after notice of the bankruptcy was published, it can go forward.