For many years, Abex Corporation manufactured asbestos friction products including brake linings in cars as well as trains. Today, an Abex Corporation settlement trust exists to pay for damages awarded to asbestos-exposure victims.The History of Abex Corporation
Abex produced friction products and utilized asbestos in its products due to the material’s heat-resistant and durable nature.
Abex placed asbestos into its brake linings, brake pads, and brake shoes from the 1920s to 1987. Some reports suggest that Abex utilized asbestos in fluid power parts, hydraulic systems, and other components for aircraft and railroad cars. Abex continued using asbestos in its products until the company merged with Pneumo Corporation in 1978. This merger led to the closure of the Abex manufacturing facility in Virginia.Workers Impacted by Abex Asbestos-Containing Products
People who functioned as metalworkers at Apex were most impacted by asbestos. Countless workers in other positions were also exposed to asbestos while at the company. Workers who dealt with brakes, hydraulic systems, power fluid, and railroad car components were also at elevated risk of coming into contact with asbestos-containing products.Abex’s Superfund Location
The first Abex foundry is located in Portsmouth and ran from 1928 to 1978. The company abandoned the site in 1978 when the Environmental Protection Agency found significant contamination from toxins including asbestos in the area. The Environmental Protection Agency also determined that soil in the area was contaminated. Abex’s Superfund site was named a top-priority Superfund location in 1990. The Environmental Protection Agency has experienced difficulty controlling the contamination to protect people who live nearby and cleanup of the area is still not complete.Litigation Initiated Against Asbestos
Starting in the 1990s, Abex was involved in countless lawsuits that were brought by victims of asbestos exposure who argued that Abex was liable for their exposure and subsequent illnesses. Thousands of lawsuits eventually led Abex to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Lawsuits initiated against the company included a former pipefitter who argued that Abex was liable for his mesothelioma. A jury later found in this man’s favor. In addition to being required to pay compensation, Abex also faced charges of conspiring to hide the harms and risks associated with asbestos.
As part of its emergence from bankruptcy, Abex was required to create an asbestos trust fund.Abex’s Trust Fund for Asbestos Victims
Established through Cooper Industries and Federal-Mogul, Abex established a trust fund in 2006 to pay 38,000 claimants requesting damages for asbestos exposure and the associated medical conditions. Cooper paid $256 million to the fund to address costs associated with claims connected to Abex products. The trust was established as part of the reorganization of Pneumo-Abex, which continues to manufacture products following the company’s bankruptcy.Contact an Experienced Mesothelioma Exposure Attorney
If you or a loved one is an Abex worker who was exposed to asbestos-containing products while at the company, you might be able to pursue compensation. To determine your options, it can help to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Throneberry Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.