Armstrong World Industries remains one of the leading manufacturing businesses in the world. However, just like many manufacturing companies prior to the late 1970s, Armstrong used asbestos in a multitude of products. In turn, thousands of workers fell ill to life-threatening illnesses and consequently sued Armstrong for negligence.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Armstrong World Industries History
Founded in 1860 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Armstrong World Industries started out making and distributing wine cork bottles. Wihin the next 30 years, the company became one the world’s leading wine cork manufacturers. Once business started to expand, Armstrong incorporated many other products into their line, including linoleum, vinyly flooring, cork boards, and fiber boards. Throughout the next many decades, Armstrong continued to make these products while using asbestos. Consequently, people started developing asbestos-related diseases, resulting in the company filing for bankruptcy in 2000, after losing millions in lawsuits.
Armstrong World Industries Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
In 1970, the first asbestos-related lawsuit against Armstrong began when Clarence Borel, an industrial insulation worker, filed a claim against the company (along with several other manufacturers) after developing pulmonary asbestosis, which eventually led to mesothelioma. According to court documents, Borel complained to Armstrong on many occasions regarding inhaling dust and asbestos fibers while working. He also stated that although some workers were given respirators to use while working, he was never offered one during his career, which lasted until the late 1960s. He said he had to resort to using handkerchiefs and cloths when working in order to avoid excessive dust.
In Feb. 1970, Borel underwent surgery on his right lung. It was discovered that he had also developed malignant mesothelioma due to his asbestosis. He passed away just before his trial was set to go into its final stages. However, the jury rendered a verdict in Borel’s favor, awarding his family $79,436.24. It also marked one of the first lawsuits in which asbestos manufacturers were held responsible for negligently harming workers.
Following the Borel Case, thousands of additional lawsuits followed, forcing Armstrong World Industries in bankruptcy. By 2006, the company emerged from bankruptcy, but part of their obligation was to set up the Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Trust. The company trust fund compensated all current cases at the time, and it set up to compensate future asbestos-related claims against Armstrong as well. In the first few years after the trust opened, more than 200,000 claims were filed.
Armstrong Asbestos Products
Armstrong used a wide variety of its products for its resistance to heat and fire. Limpet, in particular, an insulation spray that contains mostly asbestos, was used frequently. Since workers sprayed Limpet onto products, asbestos fibers were released into the air throughout each work day, placing anyone in the vicinity in danger. Armaspray was also used frequently by Armstrong. Similar to Limpet, Armaspray was also an asbestos-filled spray on application, and although it didn’t contain as much asbestos as Limpet, it was found to have unsafe levels.
Anyone who worked with these sprays or around any products made with asbestos faced risks of developing life-threatening diseases, including installers, construction workers, technicians, painters, and more.
Armstrong Hides Evidence of Asbestos Dangers
One of the reasons that Armstrong lost many mesothelioma lawsuits is due to the fact the they knew and understood that asbestos is dangerous, yet did nothing to protect their workers. From the 1930s until the 1970s, Armstrong continued to use asbestos in its products, well after they were aware of the hazards. In addition, they failed to place warning signs on any of their products, putting consumers at risk as well.
Additional Information and Legal Resources
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