W.R. Grace & Co. is a business that’s now associated with some of the largest mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos-related claims to ever take place in the nation. The company’s extensive and prolonged use of asbestos, as well as its shady dealings of covering up medical information regarding the dangers of asbestos, resulted in thousands upon thousands of people developing life-threatening diseases, and in turn filing a string of claims. Eventually, W.R. Grace not only faced criminal charges, but filed for bankruptcy and established an asbestos trust fund to help compensate the massive amounts of asbestos lawsuits.
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 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.
W.R. Grace History
W.R. Grace & Co. was originally founded in 1854 by William Russell Grace. Although the company was founded in Peru, Grace’s brother joined the company a few years later, and together, the moved to New York City and changed the business name to Grace Brothers & Co. In the beginning, the company focused on machinery and fertilizer products, until it was officially incorporated in 1895.
Throughout the next numerous years, W.R. Grace evolved from a business that focused on agricultural products to a chemical and transportation company. By the 1970s, W.R. Grace’s chemical sales made up more than half of the company’s yearly revenues.
In 1963, W.R. Grace took over the operations of vermiculite mines in Libby, Montana. Most often, the vermiculite mines were littered with asbestos. Not only were workers placed at risk, but a myriad of Libby residents fell ill to life-threatening illnesses such as asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Court documents indicate that W.R. Grace was indeed aware of a hazards that asbestos exposure can create, but the company chose not to warn anyone and continued to mine. This, of course, resulted in a string of lawsuits against the company.
W.R. Grace Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
Along with thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits stacked up against W.R. Grace, in 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice also started a criminal proceeding against the company. Per court documentation, at least seven W.R. Grace executives understand the risks of asbestos and knowingly allowed people to continuously be placed in harm’s way. Although the company was eventually acquitted of the criminal charges in 2009, it wasn’t let off the hook for the thousands of lives ruined due to asbestos exposure.
Prior to the criminal charges, facing some of the largest asbestos-related lawsuits in the United States, W.R. Grace filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. In 2014, the company emerged from bankruptcy and created the WRG Asbestos PI Trust, in order to handle all pending and future asbestos-related claims. It took over a decade for the trust fund to open due to numerous years of finalizing the details under the Joint Plan of Reorganization.
According to the trust fund’s official website:
“The WRG Asbestos PI Trust provides for the resolution of Asbestos PI Claims as defined in the First Amended Joint Plan or Reorganization. The purpose of the PI Trust is to assume all liabilities and responsibility for all PI Trust Claims, and among other things to direct the processing, liquidation and payment of all PI Trust Claims in accordance with the Plan, the Trust Distribution Procedures (“TDP”), and the Confirmation Order.”
A total of 8 Scheduled Disease levels are recognized by the WRG Asbestos PI Trust, which range from minor asbestos issues, asbestosis, mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, and more.
Rich Badmington, Vice President of Global Communications with W.R. Grace, made a statement in early 2015 that the company is relieved to finally move forward with the trust fund and start compensations plaintiffs.
“We’re pleased that all remaining objections to the Joint Plan of Reorganization and its centerpiece third-party trusts have been resolved and that the trustees now can move forward to address actual claims. We have been focused on this outcome since the day, many years ago, when the parties to the bankruptcy became co-proponents of the Plan.”
W.R. Grace Asbestos Products
The majority of W.R. Grace’s asbestos products were used in the construction industry. Unfortunately, the company didn’t just make a few asbestos-containing, but numerous materials were created and were shipped in massive amounts to other companies. Some of these products include:
- Ez Tex
- Monokote Cement
- Monokote Fireproofing
- Perltex Spray Surfacer
- Perltex Super-40 Perlite
- Zonolite Acoustical Plastic/Plaster
- Zonolite Cement
- Zonolite Fireproofing
- Zonolite Plaster
- Zonolite Spra-Tex
- Insulating Cement
W.R. Grace Today
In 2014, shortly after its emergence from bankruptcy, W.R. Grace built a 90,000 square foot headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, which sits on 160 acres. The company is still in the international chemicals, technology and materials field, but it no longer uses asbestos in any of its products. W.R. Grace also operates a technical services center, as well as a manufacturing plant, in Baltimore.
Additional Resources and Information
If you’ve been injured by mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancer, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation for pain, suffering, medical costs, and much more. Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area.