EaglePicher Industries Inc., known today as EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, is a battery, electronics, and energetic devices manufacturer. Although the company remains in business today, thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits against the company previously forced it into bankruptcy. EaglePicher once used excessive amount of asbestos in its products, leading to employees, contractors and consumers developing life-threatening illnesses.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
EaglePicher Industries Inc. History
Established in 1916 after a merger between a mining company formed by owner Oliver Picher and a company known as Eagle White Lead, EaglePicher Industries Inc. started out as a manufacturer of storage batteries. The company mined zinc and diatomaceous in order to make the batteries, which became extremely useful to the United States military during World War II. Its distribution of the batteries throughout the war made EaglePicher a popular company, and it quickly expanded.
During its expansion, EaglePicher added more products to its line and began manufacturing them with asbestos mixed in. The military was still a leading customer when asbestos-containing products were created, leading to thousands of military servicemen and servicewomen developing life-threatening illnesses.
EaglePicher continued to use asbestos until around 1975. Along with the military’s constant exposure to asbestos, manufacturers and installation workers also faced constant risks. As a result, many of these workers began developing hazardous diseases such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. A string of asbestos-related claims and lawsuits filed against EaglePicher were the result.
EaglePicher Industries Inc. Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, asbestos-related claims began mounting against EaglePicher. The company battled these claims and lawsuits for numerous years.
In 1982, Tom Petry, President of EaglePicher, created a reserve fund specifically for those affected by the company’s asbestos-containing products. This lasted until 1990, when United States District Judge Jack B. Weinstein mandated a stop of asbestos claims and ordered EaglePicher to pay $45 million to all pending cases.
In 1991, the filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Part of the agreement of bankruptcy included the company creating a reorganization plan in which an asbestos trust fund would be established. EaglePicher funded the asbestos trust fund with 10 million shares of its stock, tax refund notes, and $387 million cash. The year it filed for bankruptcy, the company faced more than $2.5 billion in asbestos-related claims.
In 2005, EaglePicher once again filed for bankruptcy after the company accumulated too much debt, equaling around $500 million. It took until 2009 for the company to fully exited the Chapter 11 reorginization.
Industries and Occupations Affected by EaglePicher Industries Inc.
As mentioned earlier, numerous workers came into contact with asbestos via EaglePicher products. These workers were employed in many different occupations, across several industries, and included:
- Drywall installers
- Shipyard workers
- Navy crew members
- Construction workers
Asbestos-Containing Products Made by EaglePicher
EaglePicher insulation was the main product that contained asbestos that affected many people. Although asbestos was not the primary ingredient in the company’s insulation, it was mixed in in excessive amounts. Cement that the company manufactured also contained asbestos. In fact, three brand names of cement contained asbestos, including One Cote, Hylo, and Super 66.
EaglePicher Industries Inc. Today
EaglePicher remains in operations today, but has eliminated asbestos use from its products. Currently, the company focuses on numerous types of batteries, battery cells, electronics, and energetic devices such as igniters, pyrotechnic switches, gas generators, cutters, and much more. EaglePicher is currently headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan.
Additional Resources and Legal Information for Asbestos Victims
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area.