Originating in Pennsylvania, Bestwall Gypsum was a manufacturer of building products. The company is still in operation today, under Georgia-Pacific, in Atlanta. Although the company no longer uses asbestos to make its a products, for many decades Bestwall Gypsum relied on it for its insulation and fire-resistant properties. Yet, as with most manufacturers that used asbestos, Bestwall Gypsum caused life-threatening diseases in thousands of workers were exposed to the mineral.
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Bestwall Gypsum History
Although Bestwall Gypsum was founded in 1961, the origins started from the product, Beaver Products’ Bestwall, a gypsum wallboard. In 1928, the CertainTeed Corporation bought Beavers Products’ Bestwall. At the time, the CertainTeed Corporation was one of the largest distributors and manufacturers of gypsum-related products.
The success of the company continued to grow throughout the 1950s, making it possible for stockholders to create a spin-off company named Bestwall Gypsum. Along with gypsum products, the company added additional products to its line, including joint and spackling compounds.
In 1965, the giant corporation Georgia-Pacific, a paper product manufacturing company, purchased Bestwall Gypsum. At the time, both Georgia-Pacific and Bestwall not only continued to asbestos in their products, but also knew of its health dangers, yet hid the information from consumers and workers. In fact, Bestwall Gyspum continued asbestos use until the late 1970s, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on its use.
Bestwall Gypsum Mesothelioma Lawsuits
During the 1980s, the first signs of illness began to surface in many of Bestwall Gypsum’s former employees. Customers were also being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses, which were traced back to the use of both Bestwall Gypsum’s and Georgia-Pacific’s products.
For instance, former television star and NFL football player, Merlin Olsen, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2009. After in-depth investigations, his mesothelioma attorney discovered that Olsen was exposed to asbestos while working as a broadcaster for the popular television network, NBC, which used Bestwall Gypsum products. In addition, while working at age 11, Olsen was exposed to asbestos when performing general maintenance duties. It was discovered that the company he worked for also used Bestwall Gypsum products.
In 2010, Olsen died of complications surrounding malignant mesothelioma. His wife, June Olsen, pursued a lawsuit on his behalf, against Georgia-Pacific, CertainTeed Corporation (in connection with Bestwall Gypsum), and numerous other companies. Although NBC was eventually dropped from the lawsuit, in 2011, the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount by the remaining companies, including Georgia-Pacific.
By 2005, Georgia-Pacific had already faced over 300,000 asbestos-related claims, equaling a total of $830 million.
Occupations Affected by Bestwall Gypsum Products
Not only were Bestwall Gypsum employees placed at risk for life-threatening illnesses, but also a myriad of workers in different occupations that worked with and/or around products that the company distributed. The following occupations are among the numerous that were placed at direct risk because of Bestwall Gypsum:
- Maintenance workers
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Insulation installers
Asbestos-Containing Products Manufactured by Bestwall Gypsum
Bestwall Gypsum manufactured numerous different types of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). The following ACMs were manufactured and sold by Bestwall Gypsum between 1950 through 1977:
- Drywall adhesive
- Kalite acoustical plaster
- Dry, triple-duty, and all-purpose joint compound
- Spackling compound
- Topping compound
- Bedding compound
Additional Information and Legal Resources
Remember, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant compensation. Don’t forget to fill out our form to get our free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information on the leading asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys in your area.