The General Aniline and Film Corporation, better known as GAF, is a roofing manufacturer based out of Wayne, New Jersey. Prior to the late 1970s, GAF used an excessive amount of asbestos in many of its products.
Employees, contractors, and consumers were on the receiving end of toxic asbestos exposure. This resulted in thousands of people developing fatal illnesses. In turn, GAF was sued so often that it filed for bankruptcy to help cover compensation for the soaring asbestos-related lawsuits it faced.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, awaiting those who’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos illness. 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.
GAF was originally established in 1929 under the company name I.G. Farben-industries, more commonly known as I.G. Dyes. In 1939, the company changed its name to General Aniline and Film (GAF) Corporation after the purchase of General Aniline Works, a chemical company, and after merging with Agfa-Ansco Corporation, a photography supplies company.
In 1942, the U.S. government seized GAF. The company was then managed by directors appointed by the government up until 1965. During this time, the company languished, as the appointed directors did a poor job in marketing its business.
GAF went public in 1965, and shortly after, bought the Ruberoid Corporation, a roofing company. The GAF Corporation became the company’s official, public name in 1968.
In the 1980s, GAF started manufacturing construction products that were distributed to home-building companies. This was a lucrative move for GAF, which resulted in a spin-off roofing business for the company, the Building Materials Corporation.
Despite its growth and success after going public, GAF faced a series of asbestos-related lawsuits, mainly stemming from the Ruberoid products. Once GAF purchased Ruberoid, it took on all of its pending and future lawsuits, including claims that resulted from a Virginia asbestos mine that GAF acquired with the purchase of Ruberoid.
GAF became one of the biggest companies during the 1980s to face asbestos claims. In turn, it helped to create the Asbestos Claims Facility, which assists large companies in defending or settling asbestos-related claims. The Asbestos Claims Facility didn’t last long, but GAF continued on with the company after it reorganized and renamed itself as the Center for Claims Resolution.
However, the asbestos-related lawsuits kept rising against GAF, and by 2000, the company was facing over 70,000 cases. The company held on and spent over $1 billion in claim settlements by 2001. The mounting claims proved to be too much for GAF, and in 2001, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a reorganization plan for GAF consisted of establishing an asbestos trust fund, which is used to compensate those who have pending asbestos-related cases against the company, in addition to future asbestos-related cases. The trust fund was created in 2009, after GAF’s emergence from bankruptcy. The company funded the asbestos trust fund with $770 million.
Occupations Affected by GAF
The majority of workers affected by GAF stem from those who worked in the Virginia asbestos mine. As mentioned earlier, once GAF acquired Ruberoid, it became responsible for all of its properties, including the asbestos mine. Many other occupations were also affected by GAF’s asbestos-containing products, including:
- Asbestos installers
- Asbestos removers
- Workers in the Ruberoid manufacturing facilities
- Construction workers
In addition, consumers were also placed at risk because of the asbestos-containing construction materials shipped to a myriad of companies during the 1980s.
GAF Asbestos-containing Products
GAF was responsible for manufacturing and selling an array of asbestos-containing products, including the following:
- Aristo and Imperial insulation
- Insulation cement
- Pipe coverings
- Asbestos paper
- Roofing felt
- Painting products
- Vinyl Flooring
- Sponge felts
- Ruberoid Air Cell
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 form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.