|UNION CARBIDE CORP /NEW/ filed this Form 10-K on 02/15/2018|
Information regarding environmental sites is provided below:
In total, the Corporation's accrued liability for probable environmental remediation and restoration costs was $114 million at December 31, 2017, compared with $145 million at December 31, 2016. This is management's best estimate of the costs for remediation and restoration with respect to environmental matters for which the Corporation has accrued liabilities, although it is reasonably possible that the ultimate cost with respect to these particular matters could range up to approximately three times that amount. Consequently, it is reasonably possible that environmental remediation and restoration costs in excess of amounts accrued could have a material impact on the Corporation's results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. It is the opinion of the Corporation's management, however, that the possibility is remote that costs in excess of the range disclosed will have a material impact on the Corporation's results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
The amounts charged to income on a pretax basis related to environmental remediation totaled $36 million in 2017, $122 million in 2016 and $58 million in 2015. The amounts charged to income on a pretax basis related to operating the Corporation's pollution abatement facilities, excluding internal recharges, totaled $113 million in 2017, $103 million in 2016 and $96 million in 2015. Capital expenditures for environmental protection were $9 million in 2017, $10 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2015.
The Corporation is and has been involved in a large number of asbestos-related suits filed primarily in state courts during the past four decades. These suits principally allege personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing products and frequently seek both actual and punitive damages. The alleged claims primarily relate to products that UCC sold in the past, alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products located on UCC's premises, and UCC's responsibility for asbestos suits filed against a former subsidiary, Amchem. In many cases, plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have suffered any compensable loss as a result of such exposure, or that injuries incurred in fact resulted from exposure to UCC's products.
The table below provides information regarding asbestos-related claims pending against the Corporation and Amchem based on criteria developed by UCC and its external consultants. UCC had a significant increase in the number of claims settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved in 2015, resulting from a detailed review of the status of individual claims and an update to criteria used to classify claims.
Plaintiffs' lawyers often sue numerous defendants in individual lawsuits or on behalf of numerous claimants. As a result, the damages alleged are not expressly identified as to UCC, Amchem or any other particular defendant, even when specific damages are alleged with respect to a specific disease or injury. In fact, there are no asbestos personal injury cases in which only the Corporation and/or Amchem are the sole named defendants. For these reasons and based upon the Corporation's litigation and settlement experience, the Corporation does not consider the damages alleged against it and Amchem to be a meaningful factor in its determination of any potential asbestos-related liability.
For additional information, see Part I, Item 3. Legal Proceedings and Asbestos-Related Matters in Notes 1 and 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.