Honeywell International, Incorporated (previously known as the Honeywell Heating Specialty Co.) is a United States corporation that specializes in products and services ranging from consumer goods to government-used defense materials. In the past, however, Honeywell’s evolution from a heating products manufacturer to a multinational provider of thermostats, computers, and military hardware linked it to the global problem of asbestos exposure, especially among workers of North American Refractories Company (NARCO), a Honeywell subsidiary. Consequently, the company and its subsidiaries have faced a multitude of asbestos-related claims and lawsuits, forcing Honeywell’s NARCO division into bankruptcy to help cover the overwhelming costs.
If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related 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.
History of Honeywell International
Honeywell traces its corporate roots to 1885, when a Swiss immigrant and businessman named Albert Butz invented the damper flapper, an early version of the modern thermostat. In 1886, he founded the Butz Thermo-electric Regulator Company; after various changes, mergers, and restructurings, Butz’s enterprise emerged as Honeywell, Inc.
The present company began operations in 1906, when Mark Honeywell founded the Honeywell Heating Specialty Co., Inc. in Wabash, Indiana. Around 21 years later, Honeywell merged with Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company and renamed itself as Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company. It went on to become the nation’s biggest maker of high-quality jeweled clocks. As the company’s customer base grew, it expanded its product line to include indicators and other various industrial control devices.
Starting in the 1930s, Minneapolis-Honeywell expanded its operations to serve businesses and consumers internationally. By 1941, the company set up offices in Canada and Europe, as well as distributors in South America, Australia, and Africa.
With the passage of time, the company survived and thrived by adapting to changes in technology, especially after America’s entry into World War II. The war marked Minneapolis-Honeywell’s involvement with the defense industry as a maker of electronic autopilots. By the 1960s, when chairman James Binger changed the company name to Honeywell, its military products included landmines, missile guidance systems, and various types of bombs.
Honeywell also broadened its business across several different areas, including computers, photographic equipment, security systems, and the aerospace industry. To do so, Honeywell merged with three companies, Allied Signal, Inc., NARCO and Bendix, which helped boost its products and services into a multi-billion dollar business.
However, with its long history of asbestos use combined with its merger companies’ long use of asbestos, Honeywell’s expansions could not rid it of the ever-mounting asbestos-related lawsuits it faced as employees, contractors, and consumers began developing life- threatening diseases, such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.
Honeywell Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
By the 2000s, Honeywell faced a multitude of asbestos-related claims and lawsuits, primarily stemming from former mechanics and other workers who were exposed to asbestos while working with and around Honeywell’s products. A large number of the lawsuits also came from NARCO, the former subsidiary of Honeywell. In fact, Honeywell stated that it had an estimated $1.1 billion asbestos liability due to NARCO.
In 2002, the NARCO division filed for bankruptcy after it could no longer fight the increasing asbestos-claims. After it emerged from bankruptcy, the division began a reorganization plan. It started formally accepting asbestos trust fund claims in Oct. 15, 2013.
Honeywell was also facing a substantial loss in 2002 after a $53.5 million judgement was rendered in favor of a mechanic who developed mesothelioma after working with products made by Honeywell’s Bendix division. Shortly after, Honeywell attempted to get rid of over 40,000 asbestos-related lawsuits by selling its Bendix brake units products to Federal Mogul, a company that was already in bankruptcy. However, Honeywell itself had still not filed for bankruptcy.
Occupations Affected by Honeywell
Unfortunately, a myriad of workers in numerous different occupations were affected by Honeywell’s asbestos-containing products as it reached across several industries. The occupations primarily affected include:
- Brake installers
- Auto mechanics
- HVAC mechanics
- Construction workers
Most workers were not only affected directly by products that Honeywell manufactured, but also by the company’s acquirement of different businesses that heavily relied on asbestos, such as Bendix and NARCO. Many people serving in the military (mainly the Navy) or working for the government developed toxic illnesses because of Honeywell’s products that were used.
Honeywell continues its operation today with its headquarters located in Morristown, New Jersey. As mentioned earlier, the company currently focuses on array of different products and services for the government, business, and consumers. Honeywell no longer uses asbestos in any of its products.
Additional Information and Legal Resources for Asbestos Victims
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. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.