Asbestos Defense



Since 1979, attorneys at Brownson PLLC have successfully represented clients in asbestos-related matters throughout the United States. Our attorneys understand these unique claims and how best to defend them.

National Reputation in Asbestos Defense

Brownson PLLC attorneys have a national reputation as a leader in asbestos defense.

We represent defendants, both in the Midwest and throughout the United States, in asbestos personal injury and property damage litigation, as well as insurance coverage matters. We have extensive experience in handling, managing and trying asbestos cases in Minnesota, North Dakota and throughout the country.

Our experience includes work as National Coordinating Counsel for defendants in diverse industries comprising all major aspects of the products and exposures giving rise to asbestos bodily injury claims. As national, regional, and local state counsel, we have handled trials, settlements, and appeals, of numerous cases, including major consolidated cases ranging from dozens, to thousands, of individual claims, and the major class action cases containing hundreds, to tens of thousands, of individual claims.

Brownson PLLC attorneys have managed and handled the funding of expense and settlement of asbestos bodily injury cases over a period of many years for a diverse group of defendants and major insurance companies.

We have been at the forefront of developing, analyzing, and presenting, scientific, technical, and medical developments pertaining to asbestos exposure and disease.


Firm members have handled or supervised asbestos personal injury and property damage lawsuits in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Bermuda.

Members of our firm have served as:

  • Corporate National Counsel for a leading ceiling tile manufacturer in the asbestos personal injury, property damage, and other toxic tort litigation.
  • National Coordinating Counsel for an asbestos-containing gasket manufacturer and distributor in asbestos personal injury litigation, supervising the defense of over 110,000 asbestos personal injury cases, successfully resolving over 70,000 cases.
  • National Coordinating Counsel for a group of former asbestos fireproofing manufacturers in asbestos personal injury and property damage litigation supervising the defense of over 60,000 asbestos personal injury actions and 30 major asbestos property damage cases.
  • National Coordinating Counsel and regional counsel for manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products.
  • Lead counsel for manufacturers and distributors in personal injury and wrongful death asbestos liability claims.
  • Counsel in litigation ancillary to asbestos practice, representing landowners in legal malpractice cases against their former attorneys who mishandled asbestos-related legal matters.

Asbestos Literature Database

Brownson PLLC has assembled and maintains a proprietary collection of medical, scientific, and regulatory literature spanning the time period from 1907 to 2001. It is designed to support the state of art defense in asbestos litigation. Unlike other asbestos literature libraries, the firm has assembled a large amount of obscure, and otherwise publicly unavailable, materials which more fully complete the historical story of the state of the art from the perspective of manufacturers and sellers of asbestos-containing products. This exclusive attorney work product contains over 3,000 publications and reports.

Asbestos Bankruptcy Management and Consulting

Brownson PLLC has substantial experience advising defendants in asbestos litigation about options and multiple strategies to resolve such litigation. For companies facing asbestos liabilities through the creation of Section 524 asbestos settlement trusts, one strategy involves using the specific provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code applicable to Chapter 11 cases. Our lawyers consult with companies before, during, and after the bankruptcy process.

  • As part of his duties as Trustee of the API, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust, Bob Brownson has supervised, or handled, and resolved, all insurance coverage litigation by the Trust to recover insurance assets for the Trust. In addition, Bob has consulted with defendants in asbestos litigation concerning their options, and the pros and cons, of utilizing the Bankruptcy Code to resolve asbestos liabilities. Bob has also advised insurers with respect to asbestos bankruptcy matters.
  • Kristi Brownson acts as National Litigation Counsel for the API, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust. In that capacity, she handles, or supervises all litigation by, and against, the Trust.

Representative Cases

Asbestos Personal Injury and Property Damage

  • State of Maryland v. Keene, et al., Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, No. 1108600.
  • City of Kansas City v. W. R. Grace, et al., Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, Case No. VA 86-019615 Civil Docket B.
  • In Re: State of West Virginia Public Building Asbestos Litigation, Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, Civil Action No. 86-C-458.
  • City of Wichita, Kansas, a Municipal Corporation v. United States Mineral Products Company, a New Jersey Corporation; and Asbestospray Corporation, a New York Corporation, U.S.D.C., D. Kansas, Case No. 89-1331.
  • Board of Education for the School District of the City of Detroit v. Celotex, et al., Circuit Court of Wayne County, Michigan, No. 84-429634-ND
  • Board of Education of the City of Chicago, et al. v. ACandS, et al.; Evanston Community Consolidated School District No. 65 v. ACandS, et al,; Board of Education of High School District No. 211 v. ACandS, et al., Cook County Illinois, Circuit Court, No. 92 L 9933; No. 92 L 99332; No. 92 L 9927.
  • Mike Moore, Attorney General ex rel, State of Mississippi v. Flintkote, et al., Jackson County, Mississippi, Circuit Court, No. 89-5138 (2).
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Owns-Corning Fiberglas, et al., Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Superior Court, C.A. No. 90-3791-A

Major Class Actions, Federal Court Multidistrict Litigation and Consolidated Personal Injury Trials in Asbestos Litigation

  • In Re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL Docket No. 875.
  • In Re: Asbestos School Litigation, U.S.D.C., E.D. Pa., Master File No: 83-0268, (National class action for removal of asbestos from public and private school buildings).
  • Central Wesleyan College, on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated v. Asbestospray Corporation, et al., U.S.D.C., D. South Carolina, Civ. No. 2: 87-1860-B, (National class action for removal of asbestos from public and private college and university buildings).
  • Prince George Center, Inc., et al. v. United States Gypsum Company, et al., Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Civil Trial Division, May Term, 1986, No. 5388. (National class action for asbestos removal from all buildings owned by private owners leased to the federal government.)
  • Carol Fletcher, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. Brooke Group, Ltd., et al., Mobile County, Alabama, Circuit Court, Civil Action No. CV97-913. (Employers’ asbestos-related recoupment subclass co-counsel, national class action for all claimants for damages from smoking Liggett cigarettes).
  • Consolidated New York Powerhouse Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation, New York County, New York, Supreme Court.
    Abate II Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Baltimore City , Maryland, Circuit Court (approx. 1500 plaintiff consolidated trial).
  • Monongalia Mass II, Monongalia Mass III Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Monongalia County, West Virginia, Circuit Court (two separate consolidated cases each involving several hundred plaintiffs).
  • In Re: Asbestos Cases III Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Kanawha County, West Virginia, Circuit Court (consolidated trial involving several hundred plaintiffs).
  • Conwed Corp. v. Union Carbide Corp., U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota Civ. No. 92-0088 (DDA/RLE)(subrogation case involving several hundred former workers occupationally exposed to asbestos at a northern Minnesota mill manufacturing ceiling tile).
  • Wood Conversion Company v. Allstate Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, First State Insurance Company, United States Fire Insurance Company, and Westchester Insurance Company, Ramsey County, Minnesota, District Court, No. 62-CV-09-2420.


  • Minnesota District Judges’ Association; Jury Instruction Guides, Update Committee
    Robert D. Brownson
  • Euromoney Publication (London) listing of The World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers
    Robert D. Brownson


  • Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment (ALRA) Group (2005 to 2019), Founding Member
    Robert D. Brownson
  • American Arbitration Association; AAA Neutral; AAA Panel of Arbitrators
    Kristi K. Brownson

Publications & Presentations