Owens Corning Asbestos Trust & Exposure
The Owens-Corning Corporation is a large company that develops and produces insulation, roofing tiles, and fiberglass composites.
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If you or a loved one worked at this corporation and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, a mesothelioma lawyer at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. can help you with filing mesothelioma claims.
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If you are an attorney or a law firm trying to file an asbestos claim with Owens Corning Asbestos Trust, we can help you. The lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. have been fighting for victims of asbestos exposure for over 40 years. Give us a call today.
- Industry: General Building Materials, Composites
- Founded: Toledo, OH (1938)
- Years Operated: 1938-Present
- Headquarters: Toledo, OH
In 1935, two major American glassworks companies (Owens-Illinois and Corning Glass), merged to create the Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation. The newly formed global company had already reached sales of $2.6 million by 1938. As a result of further development of supplying additional products aside from fiberglass, the company decided to shorten its name to the Owens-Corning in 1996.
This company was the first to produce effective and affordable fiberglass insulations sought by homeowners and builders nationwide. Such products were especially in demand throughout the post-World War II housing boom. While the company became public in 1952, from the 1960s to the 1980s they continued to expand into new markets – and in 1957 the “Comfort Conditioned Home” program was launched to promote residential insulation sales.
However, the 1980s became a tough year for the company. While facing large debt ($2.5 billion), the construction and new home building hit a rough patch in 1989. Additionally, the harm caused by the asbestos used in their products for decades caught up with the company as thousands of lawsuits against began to flow in – forcing the company to file for bankruptcy.
The decline of the company continued throughout the 1990s as they had been the defendant in roughly 84,500 asbestos-related lawsuits. Although in 1997 Owens-Corning acquired another manufacturer known as Fibreboard Corporation this ultimately placed them as a larger liability for lawsuits since that manufacturer had also previously utilized asbestos within their products.
Asbestos Use in Products
The growth of the company was primarily in part of the growth in demand for fiberglass insulation, as it had become the preferred insulation in homes and businesses across the country. However, insulating products must be heat and fire resistant – which is why asbestos was incorporated into the company’s materials. Before it was considered a harmful carcinogen, the fire/heat resistant properties, easy access, and affordability of asbestos made it an appealing product ingredient to companies.
Until the early to mid-1970s most Owens-Corning products contained asbestos including the following products:
- Cold storage systems
- Duct insulation
- Equipment insulation
- Insulating block
- Insulating roof tiles
- Laminated panels
- Pipe insulation
- One Cote Insulating Cement
- OCF Mastic
Additionally, Fibreboard utilized asbestos within their products – specifically floor coating, gypsum board, insulating cement, insulating tape, paper insulation, pipe covering, roofing felt, and roof paint.
Owens Corning Asbestos Exposure
The company’s initial success rate places its products in various settings – most commonly including homes, businesses, and U.S. Navy ships or other cargo ships. As a result, many workers, family members, and/or consumers faced asbestos exposure.
The following occupants are considered to be at higher-risk:
- Construction workers
- Demotion workers
- Military veterans
- Owens-Corning factory workers
- Shipyard workers
Not only were such workers or consumers at risk – but loved ones that may have also faced secondary exposure as well. This type of exposure may occur when an individual unknowingly brings home the dangerous fibers on their work clothes, hair, and skin.
While the usage of asbestos has significantly decreased and efforts to protect workers against the harmful fibers have strengthened, those who have previously faced exposure are still at risk of rare, life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma.
Owens Corning Asbestos Trust and Litigation
By 1990 alone, Owens-Corning was the defendant in roughly 84,500 lawsuits related to asbestos. Additionally, an estimated 3,000 people per month developed an asbestos-related disease despite the sale of Owens Corning’s last asbestos product in 1972.
The acquisition of Fibreboard only increased the amount such lawsuits brought on by injured workers, family members, and consumers. In order to handle the increasing asbestos-related claims filed against Owens-Corning, the company was required to set aside funds to compensate current and future victims after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. Thus, in 2006, the Owens Corning Fibreboard Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, Owens Corning Subfund and Fibreboard Subfund was created during the reorganization.
The trust was funded with nearly $7 billion in liabilities and since 2008 has paid out more than $361 million to claimants.
Like many companies, the executives at Owens-Corning decided to turn a blind eye to the known hazards of asbestos and labeled their products as non-toxic. Although they remain in business today and produce asbestos-free products, their previous negligence has resulted in unchangeable damages. If you or a loved one has been affected by asbestos-exposure from Owens-Corning – or any company that utilized asbestos products – and are seeking expert help, contact us today. Our asbestos-disease experts will get the answers you need.
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