Yarway Corp., Industrial Valve Maker, Files Bankruptcy

Yarway Corp., a Tyco International Ltd. unit that makes industrial valves, sought bankruptcy court protection in the face of asbestos liability claims.

The company, with offices in Boca Raton, Florida, listed more than $100 million each in assets and debts in papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The bankruptcy “was precipitated by the continuing assertion of claims by personal injury plaintiffs” from alleged exposure to asbestos in gaskets and packing from the 1920s to the 1970s, said Yarway Vice President Kevin Coen in court papers.

The company was founded in 1908 by Robert Yarnall and Bernard Waring as Simplex Engineering Co., was sold to Keystone International Inc. in 1986, and in 1997 was bought by Tyco, according to Coen’s account.

In the past five years, Yarway faced 10,000 asbestos claims and has paid more than $128 million in settlements, while insurance assets were “exhausted,” Coen said.

The case is In re Yarway Corp., 13-bk-11025, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

(Updates with excerpt from court papers in third paragraph.)
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