Kelly-Moore, also known as Kelly-Moore Paints, is a paints and paints products manufacturer based out of San Carlos, California. Although the company now thrives as one of the nation’s leading paint and paints products manufacturers, Kelly-Moore has had a long history of extensive asbestos use in its products. In fact, the sheer amount of asbestos-related claims against Kelly-Moor resulted in the company facing more than 400,000 lawsuits.
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Kelly-Moore began in 1946 when William E. Moore and William H. Kelly created a paint manufacturing facility and store, and based it out of San Carlos. According to the company website, both owners saw a growing need for professional painting services in the United States, coupled with a price that consumers could afford.
The company began expanding rapidly afterwards, and by 1984, Kelly-Moore had 80 stores nationwide, grossing more than $100 million. The company also added an additional manufacturing facility in Hurst, Texas.
However, as profitable as business was and still is for Kelly-Moore, the long list of asbestos-related claims against the company resulted in extreme financial loss. For over ten years, Kelly-Moore used asbestos in a variety of its interior paint products, for its ability to withstand heat and fire, for filler purposes, and to thicken the paint. Yet, Kelly-Moore claimed ignorance to the dangers of asbestos, and in turn, filed its own lawsuit against Union Carbide, the company the sold asbestos-containing products to the paint company during the 1960s through the early 1980s.
Kelly-Moore vs. Union Carbide
In 2004, Kelly-Moore filed a lawsuit against in Texas against the Union Carbide Corporation after claiming that the company sold numerous asbestos-containing products (which Kelly-Moore used in its own products) without properly warning of the hazardous risks. At the time of the lawsuit, Kelly-Moore already had 480,000 asbestos-related claims against it, and wanted to relieve the burden by placing the blame on another company.
Per the Los Angeles Times, Union Carbide sold Calidria asbestos to Kelly-Moore, which was used as a thickening agent in paints and paints products. Kelly-Moore claimed that they were tricked into buying Calidria since Union Carbide allegedly presented it as a safe mineral. However, after deliberations, a jury cleared Union Carbide from liability, resulting in Kelly-Moore once again facing a string of asbestos-related lawsuits.
“Clearly this was a blatant attempt by Kelly-Moore to duck responsibility for their own customers and legal troubles and shift the blame to a minor fiber supplier,” said Union Carbide’s attorney.
Kelly-Moore decided against filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, unlike most companies with such high amounts of pending asbestos cases. Yet, a multitude of workers who were injured by the company’s products have received millions via settlements. In 2005, the company attempted to retry the Union Carbide lawsuit, but a Texas judge denied the motion.
Occupations Affected by Kelley-Moore
Since Kelley-Moore distributed its products to a variety of businesses and consumers across the globe, numerous workers in different occupations were injured, and now face life-threatening diseases. Some of these occupations include:
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Installation workers
- Employees and contractors in Kelley-Moore’s manufacturing facilities
Kelley-Moore asbestos-containing products included:
Resources 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. 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 additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.