A trust set up to handle asbestos litigation against Pittsburgh Corning Corp. has reached a $178 settlement with 2,000 claimants who alleged that the company’s asbestos-containing insulation products caused illnesses such as mesothelioma. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PG), “In the deal disclosed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh, the $4 billion trust agreed to pay initially $38 million to the group. Identified as the Cimino claims, the group “will receive another $140 million if an arbitration panel decides in their favor.”
The group filed its cases against Pittsburgh Corning in Texas in the 1990s. The settlement took decades because, according to PG, the insulation company” resisted paying the claims” arguing that, “some of them never went to trial or their verdicts were overturned”
Funded by PPG Industries Inc. and Corning Inc. (original joint venture partners in the company), the multibillion dollar trust was created to handle claims when Pittsburgh Corning emerged from bankruptcy in 2016. In early 2017, Plum-based Pittsburgh Corning was acquired by Owens Corning of Toledo, Ohio.
Asbestos has been used as an insulating material since ancient times due to its strength, resistance to heat and chemicals, and because it does not conduct electricity. As a result, asbestos has been used since the industrial revolution to insulate schools, homes, factories, and ships, and to make automobile brake and clutch parts, ceiling and floor tiles, roofing shingles, cement, textiles, and hundreds of other products.
Though asbestos is strictly regulated today, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) says that the mineral is still imported into the U.S. for use in construction materials such as corrugated sheeting, cement pipe, roofing materials, and vinyl tile. The agency also says that asbestos is still used in automobile clutches and brake pads, and some previously marketed asbestos-containing products, such as amphibole-contaminated vermiculite insulation, remain in many homes and other buildings across the U.S.
Whether you have been exposed to asbestos recently or decades ago, please see your doctor right away. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but early detection could lead to better treatment options and increased survival.
"Asbestos and Cancer Risk." Cancer.org. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 01 Dec. 2017.
"Asbestos Toxicity Where Is Asbestos Found?" ATSDR.cdc.gov. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 01 Dec. 2017.
Gannon, Joyce. "Pittsburgh Corning Trust Reaches Settlement with Asbestos Claimants." Post-Gazette.com. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 24 Oc