Although there is no naturally-occurring asbestos in Tampa or in any part of Florida, the city has a long history of extensive asbestos use. In fact, asbestos was once shipped in large amounts to Tampa from Libby, Montana, for commercial use in several industries. Consequently, Florida now ranks 2nd in the nation for the most asbestosis and mesothelioma deaths.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in Tamps, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
Leslie Controls Inc.
Tampa’s Leslie Controls Inc. is a manufacturing company that produces and distributes steam valves, water pressure valves and regulators to the military, power plants, processing plants, and more. In fact, for many years, the company was responsible for providing their products and equipping the United States Navy vessels during World War I and World War II. As the company’s product line began to grow throughout the decades, it started to expanded considerably, but the core focus of the business has always remained the same: providing the best, most diverse valves to their customers.
As with many manufacturing companies prior to the the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on asbestos use, Leslie Controls once used asbestos in a variety of its parts and equipment, including pumps, gaskets, pipe parts, steam valves, and much more. Asbestos was extremely valued for its strong ability to withstand heat, its fireproof properties, and its ability to insulate. However, even though asbestos is strong and adaptable, it is also dangerously toxic when ingested.
John Leslie started the company in 1905, and according the company’s history page, the first product to be advertised was a steam-powered snowplow made for railroad trains. Although Leslie was from Canada, he opened the first manufacturing plant in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The company later moved to Telecom Drive in Tampa, Florida, where a 150,000-square-foot facility is operated.
In the 1990s, Watt Industries, an independent valve manufacturer that provides their services worldwide, purchased Leslie Controls. It then went on to become a subsidiary of CIRCOR, and still remains a subsidiary today. With over 100 nationwide manufacturers, the company serves the following markets: oil, gas, petrochemical, power generation, commercial marine, and military marine.
The large-scale asbestos use resulted in a myriad of lawsuits against Leslie Controls, not only from those who worked directly for the company in manufacturing, but also from people who worked with and around the products sold by the company, such as military veterans.
In 2010, Leslie Controls ended up filing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, due to over 1,000 asbestos personal injury claims that were pending at the company. Per court documents, a good majority of the claims stemmed asbestos use on United States Navy vessels, primarily from the 1940s through the mid-1980s.
As part of the reorganization plan with their bankruptcy, a trust fund, entitled the Leslie Controal Asbestos Personal Trust, was established in 2011 with an estimated $75 million. The trust fund was created as a way to compensate all future asbestos-related cases against Leslie Controls. According to the filing documents, claims were accepted up until September 2012.
Before the company filed for bankruptcy, Leslie Controls had already been met with mixed results in a string of various asbestos-related cases. For instance, in one lawsuit, Merrill v. Leslie Controls, Inc., a United States Navy veteran won $1.218 million against the company. The veteran spent 20 years of service aboard four different vessels, working with different gaskets and valves produced by Leslie Controls. Yet two years after the award, however, a district court of appeals reversed the original ruling when the veteran failed to satisfy the burden of linking the asbestos products made by Leslie Controls with the packing and gaskets that he worked with while in the Navy.
Although veterans are not allowed to bring a liability lawsuit against the United States government, they are allowed to file against manufacturers and companies who provided the Navy with products and materials made with asbestos. Unfortunately, Leslie Controls made a plethora of products that contained asbestos, including the following:
- Steam and control valves
- Steam water heaters
- Packing materials
Leslie Controls continued make these products with asbestos until 1988.
Additional Tampa Businesses, Buildings, and Job Sites Associated with Asbestos
Schools and Hospitals
- University of South Florida
- St. Joseph’s Hospital
- Tampa Bay Hospital
- Tampa Veterans Administration Hospital
- Tampa Genera Hospital
- Macdill Air Force Base
Gas, Water, and Electric Companies
- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)
- Gulf Power Company
- Lakeland Electric
- Tampa Gas Company
- Tampa Water Works
- Black Point Powerhouse
Steel and Cement Companies
- Florida Portland Cement Company
- Robert J. Clark Tampa Steel Erecting Company
- Florida Steel Corporation
- Acousti Engineering Company
- Airetron Engineering Company
- Buell Engineering
- Stone and Webster Engineers
Additional Buildings and Businesses
- Aerodyne Investment Castings
- AP Green Refractories Company
- Cameron & Barkley Company
- Consolidated Citrus Products Company
- Dixie Linen and Uniform Company
- Gaylord Container Corporation
- Glidden Durkee Company
- Gulf Brass Works
- Herman Sausage Factory Incorporated
- Hillsborough County Animal Control
- Hillsborough County Courthouse
- Johns‐Manville Sales Corporation
- Linde Air Products Company
- Nitram Chemicals, Inc.
- Ocean Shipholdings, Inc.
- Owens-Corning Fiberglass
- Tampa Armature Works
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- Tampa Ship Repair & Drydock Company
- Tampa Tank and Florida Structural Steel
- Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Company
- Thompson Hayward Siding
- Tiffany Tile Corporation
- TSR Corporation
- U.S. Phosphoric Productions
- Union Carbide Corporation
- Westinghouse Electric Company
Medical Help in Tampa
Established in 1986, Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute is a non-profit, comprehensive cancer treatment center, conveniently located at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. . It’s the leading cancer treatment center associated with the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Moffitt is also a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. A NCI-backed cancer center offers some of the most comprehensive treatment options available, along with funding for research, clinical trials, cutting-edge medical technology, and more.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center also offers a total of 13 specifically-designed clinical programs for the treatment of various cancer types, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis, and much more.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
Tampa Legal Help
As previously mentioned, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos and suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for information on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.