John Crane, a mechanical packing company based out of Chicago, manufactures close to 238,900 miles of braided packing and live-loaded gasket packing each year. However, for many years prior to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on asbestos use, John Crane relied on the toxic set of minerals in an array of products for its resistance to heat and fire, ease of use and affordability.
Subsequently, numerous people who once worked in John Crane factories and/or around its asbestos-containing products began developing serious, fatal diseases. In turn, the company faced (and still faces) an array of asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits.
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John Crane History
John Crane’s history dates back to 1917 when the company opened in Chicago as the “Crane Packing Company.” Although it started with meager means, by the 1980s, John Crane had acquired the TI Group, and by the 2000s, merged with Smiths Industries, a London-based global technology corporation. The merger with Smith Industries resulted in John Crane becoming the largest Smiths Group PLC subsidiary.
Throughout its business expansion, John Crane created and developed numerous technology products, including a gas-lubricating seal, non-contact sealing for pumps, and an elastomer bellows shaft seal. Although John Crane’s products help revolutionize seals and other products, the company’s long history with asbestos use in these products led to thousands of asbestos-related claims and lawsuits.
John Crane Lawsuits
Since John Crane was such a huge leader in the manufacturing, it became one of the prime targets of mesothelioma lawsuits after a multitude of former employees and contractors began developing diseases such as asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The company never filed for bankruptcy, even when faced with a myriad of lawsuits, which included multi-million dollar verdicts in favor of several plaintiffs.
For example, in February 2012, John Crane lost a lawsuit to the family of former shipyard worker John Bristow. According to court documents, Bristow worked around and handled John Crane’s asbestos-containing seals and gaskets for decades.
Consequently, Bristow was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died shortly after. Bristow’s loved ones filed a mesothelioma lawsuit in Newport News, Virginia, on his behalf. A jury subsequently found John Crane guilty and 100% responsible for Bristow’s illness and death, even though five other companies were named in the lawsuit.
The family won a $9.18 million verdict.
“It was an agonizing two days of nail biting, waiting for the jury,” said the family’s attorney. “It’s very satisfying to know that they believed us and trusted our evidence and that they assigned a high value to the life of a very, very good man.”
Occupations Affected by John Crane Products
John Crane provided seals, gaskets, and mechanical packing to a plethora of companies across the world. Therefore, not only were the company’s own employees at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses, but various workers in numerous occupations were at risk as well, including:
- Railroad workers
- Shipyard workers
- Automobile mechanics
- Maintenance workers, and more
John Crane Today
John Crane no longer uses asbestos in any of its products, but still continues to face asbestos-related lawsuits. The company is still based out of Chicago and has a global presence in numerous countries.
In addition, John Crane recently acquired several other businesses and created the John Crane Production Solutions (JCPS). The subsidiary specializes in oil and gas production, and artificial lift products. John Crane also continues to manufacture gaskets and seals.
Additional Resources for Asbestos Victims
Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For questions and assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.