The Dana Corporation, now known as the Dana Holding Corporation, is a an automotive parts manufacturer and supplier based out of Maumee, Ohio. Although the company remains a leading automotive parts manufacturer and distributor, it has a long history of asbestos use. Employees, contractors, and consumers alike began developing asbestos-related illnesses from Dana Corporation’s products, leading to the company to eventually file for bankruptcy.
We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more. With over $30 billion currently available in asbestos trust funds, if you or a loved one have a serious asbestos illness, such as mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for significant financial compensation.
Dana Corporation History
Established in 1904, Dana Corporation was created by a young engineering student, Clarence Spicer, who invented and patented a encased universal joint. Spicer created the joint while attending Cornell University, but moved to Plainfield, New Jersey shortly after to set up and market his business.
The first universal joints, known as “u-joints,” were shipped to Connecticut’s Corbin Motor Company. By 1906, business began to grow for Spicer. A variety of companies were placed on the company’s roster, including American Motors, Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Co., Buick Motor Co., Olds Motor Works, and more. Four years later, as his business continued to grow, Spicer named his business as Spicer Manufacturing Company.
However, after enjoying many years of success, the company began to struggle financially in 1914. In 1928, the company relocated in Toledo, Ohio, in hopes of boosting business. The company’s name was changed again to Dana Corporation, and the company once again began having success. As business grew, Dana Corporation expanded its line to include more products. The company also purchased a few auto suppliers, including the Victor Gasket Manufacturing Company and the Perfect Circle Corporation.
However, by 2006, Dana Corporation once again faced financial troubles as numerous asbestos-related lawsuits and claims mounted against it. In fact, the lawsuits and claims were so substantial that Dana Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Dana Corporation Lawsuits
Even under bankruptcy, the Dana Corporation faced problems. In 2007, the Ad Hoc Committee of Asbestos Claimants appealed Dana Corporation’s reorganization plan, that was slated to be set up after the company came out of bankruptcy. The reason behind that appeal is that the Ad Hoc Committee felt that Dana Corporation didn’t set enough funds aside to compensate their victims, which had reached to over 80,000 claimants.
Initially, the Dana Corporation stated that asbestos-related claims only equaled 3% of their total debt. Yet, the company replied to the Ad Committee, stating that there was $240 million set aside in the trust fund for current and future asbestos-related claims. Ultimately, Ad Hoc’s appeal did not affect Dana Corporation’s emergence from bankruptcy. However, Dana Corporation battled numerous asbestos-related lawsuits. The following is one example of the many lawsuits that Dana Corporation faced:
In Sept. 2002, Louis A. Hicks, a rope packer and construction laborer, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit against Dana Corporation and 11 other companies after being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
According to court documents, during his 40-year career, Hicks was exposed to asbestos that stemmed from Dana Corporation’s products. In addition to working around pipe fitters who installed asbestos-containing gaskets, he cut and packed rope that was filled with asbestos. He also handled the same type of gaskets that pipe fitters installed, including four different types of gaskets manufactured by Dana Corporation.
During his trial, Hicks claimed that along with pre-cutting gaskets, he also pre-cut asbestos sheets to fit flanges. Dr. James C. Giudice, a board-certified internal medicine and pulmonary medicine physician, testified that the three types of asbestos found in Dana Corporation’s products ( chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite) were all dangerous to human health. Dr. Giudice also testified that there is no way possible to make asbestos safe, and once someone ingests its fibers, life-threatening illnesses may result.
Hicks passed away in 2003 from his disease, but his daughter carried on with his trial. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania found Dana Corporation and the additional 11 manufacturers named in the lawsuit liable for Hicks’ illness. Dana Corporation was ordered to pay $464,605.650 for Hicks’ asbestos exposure via gaskets. The other manufacturers were ordered to pay $5,000,000.
Additional Lawsuits Against Dana
By June 2010, Dana Corporation face around 31,000 pending asbestos-related claims. While around 11,000 claims were settled, many are still pending. Dana Corporation estimates that its liability for asbestos claims will continue for another 15 years.
Although the company has never established a trust fund for claimants, it did create the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA). VEBA covers long-term disability as well as medical expenses, including asbestos-related costs. The Dana Corporation placed around $800 million into the VEBA fund, as well as $80 million from the company stock.
Asbestos-Containing Products Made by Dana Corporation
Dana Corporation manufactured numerous products that contained asbestos, including the following:
- Brake pads
- Brake linings
- Universal joints
- Drive shafts
- Thermal management products
Unfortunately, thousands of people have been injured by Dana Corporation’s products, including car mechanics, pipe fitters, maintenance workers, boiler workers, engine room workers, steam fitter, automobile production workers, and more.
Legal Resources and Additional Information for Asbestos Victims
There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. 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. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.