Understanding, Managing, and Living with the

Health Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos Settlements

Union Carbide Corp. et al. Asbestos Exposure Death Settlement
San Francisco, CA: (May-04-07) The family of Charlie Piazza of Santa Clara filed a lawsuit against Union Carbide Corp., Georgia-Pacific Corp., Kelly-Moore Paint Co. Inc., Hamilton Materials Inc., Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc., and CertainTeed Corp. alleging that Piazza was exposed to asbestos products manufactured by the six defendants and died due to the prolonged workplace exposure. Piazza, who was an electrician and construction subcontractor in the Santa Clara area for more than 40 years, sought medical help after experiencing a variety of health problems that were diagnosed as symptoms of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. Documents in the case showed that the defendants knew about the dangers of asbestos for years, but failed to protect Piazza from being exposed and failed to warn him about the deadly side effects of his exposure. The diagnosis was made in March 2005 and Piazza died in May 2005 at the age of 62, less than six weeks after his diagnosis. In a settlement reached, the six defendants agreed to pay the family $2.3 million, ending the suit.

British Rail and Swindon Pressings Worker Asbestos Settlement
Wiltshire, UK: (Apr-03-07) Frederick Allen, an ex railway worker, filed suit against his former employers British Rail and Swindon Pressings, alleging that his work there exposed him to the hazards of working with asbestos dust causing his mesothelioma. Allen, 70, worked for British Rail from July 1954 until April 1961. Over the course of his employment he worked in a number of different places where he was exposed to asbestos. Generally he worked near steam pipes that were covered in asbestos lagging which often burst or leaked. In a settlement reached, British Rail and Swindon Pressings agreed to pay Allen �128,500 as damages, preventing the case from going to trial.

Federal Insurance Co. Quaker Chemical Asbestos Claims Settlement
New York, NY: (Mar-26-07) Quaker Chemical Corp.'s Quaker's SB Decking Inc. subsidiary filed suit against Federal Insurance Co. over whether Federal was liable to cover certain asbestos claims brought against SB Decking. In a settlement reached, Federal Insurance Co. agreed to pay $20 million to settle the asbestos insurance issue. The amount will be paid in four installments. Federal sought to be released from all future liability. Quaker will use the money to pay defense and indemnity costs related to asbestos claims against SB Decking.

Rich-Tex, Inc. Asbestos Drywall Death Verdict
San Francisco, CA: (Mar-18-07) Douglas Ivance died on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003 from respiratory failure caused in part by asbestos and severe asbestos-related pleural disease. He had been a career drywall taper throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for 47 years. Rich-Tex was a manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing drywall products, including joint compound, spray texture and acoustical ceiling spray, from 1963 to 1977. The company supplied asbestos-containing drywall products to the majority of Ivance's employers during that time period, when Ivance used the products. Ivance's family filed a products liability lawsuit against Rich-Tex. A San Francisco jury ruled Rich-Tex, Inc.'s asbestos-containing products were defectively designed and assessed $368,787.64 in economic damages and $500,000 in non-economic damages.

James Hardie Industries Australia Asbestos Victims Settlement
Australia: (Feb-09-07) James Hardie Industries' Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund began with an initial $184 million down payment, laying the path for making first payments to victims. James Hardie has agreed to fund the settlement package with $1.5 billion from 35% of its free cash flow each year, though insiders predict that payments would blow out to $4 billion for up to 10,000 people once all compensation was paid under the record deal. James Hardie, whose shareholders approved the package in the Netherlands, confirmed that its new fund would take control of compensation payouts, with decisions made by a board comprising three company-appointed directors and two others nominated by the NSW Government. After a six-year battle to pressure James Hardie into accepting responsibility for a guaranteed compensation fund, campaigners and victims expressed relief that a settlement had been reached.

Century Indemnity Co. Asbestos Claims Settlement
Congoleum Corp. filed a voluntary petition seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, to resolve claims asserted against it related to the use of asbestos in its products several years ago. Century Indemnity has agreed to pay $16.95 million to a trust set up for asbestos related claims. (Aug-22-06)

Asbestos Corporation Limited asbestosis Settlement
A jury has awarded over $11.5 million in an asbestos lawsuit to Joseph and Mary Garza who reside in Longmont, Colorado. $1.1 million was awarded to the Mr. Garza, a Navy veteran, who is suffering from asbestosis and $400,000 was awarded to his wife for loss of companionship. An additional $10 million in punitive damages has been awarded after the jury considered the defendant, Asbestos Corporation Limited, to have acted with malice or oppression. (Jul-15-06)

Cooper Industries Ltd. asbestos Settlement
An agreement has been reached with Cooper Industries Ltd. that will settle the electrical products maker's asbestos liabilities. The liability claims arose from Cooper's former Abex Friction Products business, which Cooper sold to Federal Mogul Corp Cooper Industries Ltd. Cooper has agreed to pay $256 million in cash into the claimants' trust on the date Federal-Mogul emerges from bankruptcy. It will also make 25 annual payments of up to $20 million each into the trust. (Jul-07-06)

St. Paul Travelers Cos. Asbestos Settlement
Congoleum, a bankrupt maker of sheet and tile flooring, is a defendant in more than 100,000 asbestos related lawsuits and had 18 insurance policies with the insurance company. St. Paul Travelers has agreed to pay $25 million to a trust for people who were injured by exposure to asbestos. (May-09-06)

Owens Corning Asbestos Settlement
Thousands of lawsuits were filed on behalf of people sickened by asbestos and in 2000, the fiberglass insulation maker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Asbestos was used as insulation and fire retardant, until the 1970's when scientists found its inhaled fibers could cause cancer and other diseases. Owens Corning has reached a $5.2 billion settlement to resolve current and future asbestos claims. (May-10-06)

West Virginia University Asbestos Class Action Settlement
More than 5,000 current and former employees filed a class action lawsuit against the institution regarding asbestos related illnesses. Federal regulators closed the WVU Coliseum during the 1999-2000 basketball season to clean asbestos out of the building's ceiling. Employees claimed that asbestos in campus buildings put them at risk for asbestos related diseases. West Virginia University agreed to establish a medical monitoring program. (Nov-23-05)

Tri-State Environmental Asbestos Removal Fine
Gordon Ingram and his asbestos removal company were charged with environmental violations by the state of New Hampshire. In 2003 Tri-State Environmental violated asbestos management and control laws by not giving proper notice of asbestos projects, not paying fees for the projects, and working on projects without a license. Ingram has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine. (Oct-06-05)

Pacifica Enterprises Renovation Settlement
The San Diego developer agreed to a $460,000 out of court settlement for environmental violations. In 2004, Pacifica was renovating the Padre Hotel but was removing asbestos from the building's interior without the proper safety precautions. Air district investigators gave them two warning notices to change their practices. Pacifica stalled renovations and hired experts to determine if the company exposed workers to regulated asbestos; they concluded there was no public health threat from the project. Pacifica will pay $150,000 in penalties and $86,000 in legal fees. They will also spend $224,000 to analyze public health concerns associated with its asbestos removal activities. (Jun-27-05)

Lloyd's Underwriters Goodyear Settlement
The insurance company is reinsured by Equitas Ltd. and has agreed to pay Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. a $22 million insurance settlement for asbestos and pollution related claims. Equitas will also put $39 million into a trust fund to reimburse Goodyear for future asbestos claims. (Apr-19-05)

UK Insurance Industry asbestos Settlement
A high court judge ruled in favor of thousands of asbestos exposed workers who developed pleural plaques. Up to 10 million pounds will be paid out over the next 40 years with a maximum compensation to each worker of 7,000 pounds. (Feb-16-05)

United States Steel Corp asbestos Settlement
A settlement has been reached for $50 million in a case, where a former steelworker suffered lung disease due to poisoning of asbestos due to negligence of the employer.

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