Pittsburgh Corning Emerges from Bankruptcy for Asbestos Trust
By Amanda Antell
From the original article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the attorneys involved in the case believe that the insurance companies involved with Pittsburgh Corning will appeal the plan, further delaying the formation of a $3.5 billion asbestos trust. This trust was set up to compensate victims and their families which were harmed by the company’s asbestos-containing products, including a widely-used pipe insulation known as Unibestos, produced from 1964 to 1972. Pittsburgh Corning’s two parent companies — Corning Inc. and PPG Industries — will split contribution of millions into the trust.
Pittsburgh Corning representatives and other legal experts believe that the delay will extend into 2014. There are approximately 400,000 asbestos-related lawsuits naming the company by name and injury. About half of the cases were settled before the company declared bankruptcy in 2000, stating that any remaining cases could deplete their assets.
Most of the claims allege injuries from their Unibestos product, which was manufactured in company plants in Tyler, Texas, and Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. The Texas plant was closed by OSHA in 1972 after it was deemed to be “extremely hazardous” to both workers and their families.
The severity of the asbestos exposure from Pittsburgh Corning is in no way unusual; environmental and federal laws take asbestos-cases very seriously, due to the severe risks factors they pose. If the asbestos material is damaged, the fibers could be released into the air, and could catch onto clothes or be inhaled by anyone around them. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, some become lodged in the lungs and remain there throughout the person’s life. These fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing, and lead to disease.
There are several factors which determine severity of asbestos exposure to the individual:
- Exposure concentration: The concentration of asbestos fibers
- Exposure duration: Amount of time the exposure period lasted
- Exposure frequency: How often during the specific time period the person was exposed
- Size, shape and chemical makeup of asbestos fibers
Depending on the severity of the asbestos exposure, the person could have debilitating and even fatal health risks later on down the road due to asbestos symptoms, often not appearing after many years of exposure. The most common health risks and diseases associated with asbestos exposure are:
- Asbestosis: A serious, progressive, long-term disease, caused by the asbestos fibers scarring the lungs. Asbestosis typically takes 10 to 20 years after initial exposure to experience any symptoms.
- Mesothelioma: A rare cancer which affects the lining of the chest cavity, outside the lungs. Almost all cases of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure.
- Lung cancer: A malignant tumor that invades and obstructs the lung’s air passages. Lung cancer often occurs in asbestos victims who have been exposed to both cigarettes and the harmful fibers.
Currently, many companies are facing thousands of asbestos lawsuits from asbestos victims and their families like Pittsburg Corning. The allegations extend from negligence to malicious and deliberate exposure.
If you believe that you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos or are suffering asbestos-related symptoms, you have legal options. Please visit the Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuit Investigation. There, you can submit your claim for a free legal review and if it qualifies for legal action, a seasoned asbestos lawyer will contact you for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be guided through the litigation process at no out-of-pocket expenses or hidden fees. The asbestos attorneys working this investigation do not get paid until you do.
Updated June 11th, 2013
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