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The history of asbestos use has left a legacy of illness in hundreds of thousands of American families. It has been called one of the largest human-made epidemics in U.S. history. For decades, the number of asbestos victims kept piling up as the epidemic unfolded in slow motion.
Sadly, the catastrophe could have been prevented — if companies hadn’t intentionally concealed the dangers of asbestos exposure.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the company that exposed you to asbestos. Get a free consultation today to learn what your legal options may be.
Michael Angelides (00:02):
When a victim of mesothelioma engages Simmons Hanly Conroy, they have an absolute army of people working on their case. We really have the resources to represent our clients essentially anywhere.
We've developed the greatest expert witnesses in the country, a team of medical staff, thousands of warehouses full of documents, and a legal team that has hundreds of years of experience — all of these resources marshaled together to help their case.
The industrialized asbestos industry began in the 1870s. By the turn of the century, European physicians began to notice breathing problems in exposed workers.
In 1898, British authorities published the first information about the hazards of asbestos exposure and the danger it posed to the workers’ health. The first American sources discussing the health risks to workers were published in 1918. By 1930, the United States Department of Labor requested the asbestos industry use exhaust systems and other safety methods.
Asbestosis was first identified in medical case reports in the 1920s, and the asbestos-cancer relationship was established by 1942. Reports of mesothelioma began to surface in medical literature at this time as well.
Yet, despite the warnings of medical professionals, a number of companies continued to manufacture, sell and design asbestos products — all while exposing workers to asbestos without providing them with adequate protective gear designed to prevent inhalation of the toxin’s fibers.
In 1935, industry representatives from over 50 of the largest companies in the U.S. convened a “Symposium on Dust Problems at the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.” These meetings set in motion an orchestrated effort to protect the industry and hide the dangers of asbestos and other toxic dust from workers.
This concerted action took the form of industry trade groups with names that gave the impression that their chief goal was to promote safety (e.g. The Industrial Hygiene Foundation and the National Safety Council) or that they were government sanctioned (e.g. American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists). In 1936, the Air Hygiene Foundation was formed by industry for the protection against occupational injury claims, and the organization was renamed the Industrial Hygiene Foundation in 1941.
Without any scientific foundation, the Industrial Hygiene Foundation and other industry-created trade groups created official standards out of thin air. The trade organizations and their members then lobbied governmental organizations to adopt these made-up standards.
Once these standards were adopted by governmental agencies, they were then held up as authoritative in defense of the resulting asbestos claims. The existence of a made-up standard served as proof of safety.
As years went on, executives at asbestos manufacturing companies continued to cover up asbestos-related illnesses among their workers. Doctor’s notes, reports and memos detailing the dangers of asbestos were concealed from employees and the public.
Instead of preventing asbestos exposure or providing protective gear to employees, executives quietly offered small amounts of compensation to those dealing with health problems occurring on the job. These payments forced workers to keep quiet about the underlying cause of their illnesses.
Many of the first lawsuits involving asbestos victims were won by the manufacturers, who claimed they also didn’t understand the dangers and risks involved.
As additional evidence, these companies pointed to the “safety” standards they had made up and lobbied the government to adopt. But that only worked for so long.
In 1977, the elaborate cover-up was exposed when attorneys representing asbestos victims uncovered 6,000 pages of documents called the Sumner Simpson papers, which revealed the decades-long cover-up perpetrated by industry executives.
The concerted action that exposed these innocent workers, service members and their families to the dangers of asbestos exposure finally came to light. It was the beginning of the end for the industry’s lengthy cover-up.
Since then thousands of victims of asbestos-related diseases and their families have used the court system to secure justice and hold asbestos companies accountable.
The eventual exposure of the sophisticated corporate cover-up led to an increase in mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits. These lawsuits provide justice to the innocent victims of deadly asbestos-related diseases who suffer as a result of the companies’ greed and negligence.
From the Industrial Revolution through the 1980s, many companies used asbestos in manufacturing without significant regulation. As a result, many people encountered the substance at their workplace.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos through your work, browse our partial list below of companies known to be linked to asbestos exposure. If you have worked at one of these asbestos companies in the past, you should tell your doctor you may have been exposed to asbestos.
If you have suffered from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease due to the negligence of an employer or manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation through an asbestos exposure lawsuit.
Learn more about filing a lawsuit by scheduling a free consultation with one of our mesothelioma lawyers.
Is your company on the list? View a partial list of companies that used asbestos below. These companies may have sold asbestos, manufactured products containing asbestos, or designed products that required the use of asbestos.
Don’t see your company? You may still be entitled to financial compensation.
During the 20th century, many asbestos companies couldn’t afford to pay all of the asbestos lawsuits filed against them, leading the company to declare bankruptcy instead. In response to this, however, bankruptcy courts ordered these asbestos manufacturers to establish bankruptcy asbestos trust funds to pay current and future asbestos claims.
Today, more than 100 companies have established their own asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Estimates suggest there’s over $30 billion set aside in these trust funds for asbestos victims and their families.
Don’t see your company on the list? These are only a few of the companies that declared bankruptcy and set aside funds in asbestos trusts. Contact us today to see if you may be able to file an asbestos claim.
A few of the asbestos companies that declared bankruptcy and established asbestos trust funds include:
Asbestos is a natural fiber known for its strength, flexibility, and ability to resist heat and water. For nearly 100 years, asbestos was widely used in thousands of everyday products involved in the construction of homes, ships, automobiles and more.
Some of these common asbestos-containing products include:
The above list of asbestos products is not exhaustive. There are many more known products that contain asbestos.
If you don’t know the asbestos products you were exposed to, your legal team can help you determine that as well. Get a free legal consultation today to learn more.
Due to the wide use of asbestos in industrial materials, asbestos companies exposed workers from a wide range of industries and trades. More than 75 occupational groups have exposed employees to asbestos at the workplace.
Currently, an estimated 1.3 million U.S. workers, many in the trades, are at risk of asbestos exposure, which has serious consequences like mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Occupations with a high-risk of asbestos exposure include:
Remember: These are only some of the roles at greater risk of asbestos exposure. Many additional occupations have exposed employees to asbestos.
Occupational asbestos exposure doesn’t just affect those on the job — you can bring these dangerous asbestos fibers home with you on your clothes, putting your loved ones at risk of exposure in the process.
If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be able to pursue financial compensation through an asbestos lawsuit. Learn more about your legal options with a free case review today.
Absolutely — the above list of asbestos manufacturers is not exhaustive. If you or your loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, your legal team will work with you to determine:
Because of the microscopic nature of its fibers, asbestos poses a serious threat to the health of those who inhale the material. However, there is a 10-to-50-year latency period between the time you were first exposed to asbestos and the development of any noticeable symptoms.
Talk with your doctor about the possible risks, especially if you develop the following symptoms, which could be signs of mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease:
If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease as a result of workplace exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation. When you work with Simmons Hanly Conroy, your experienced legal team will handle every step of the asbestos lawsuit process on your behalf.
The durable nature of asbestos made it popular for use in building materials in homes, ships and automobiles for most of the 20th century. Some of these construction products include insulation, roof shingles, pipe wrapping and plaster. Still, there are many other products that contain asbestos you may have been exposed to.
Yes — despite the known health risks of asbestos, there are still companies that manufacture asbestos-containing products.
Although asbestos is not banned in the United States, asbestos litigation filed by union workers, veterans and other workers has helped to raise awareness of the health hazards and dangers of asbestos exposure.
More than 70 countries across the world have banned the use of asbestos. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include some of the world’s largest economic figures like the United States, China, India, Russia and many more.
Asbestos exposure has been linked to multiple different diseases and illnesses. The most commonly recognized asbestos-related diseases include:
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for exposing you to asbestos. Get a free legal consultation today to learn more about your legal options.