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Armstrong World Industries

Armstrong World Industries made various asbestos-containing products from the 1930s to the 1970s. In 2000, litigation involving asbestos exposure ultimately caused Armstrong to pursue bankruptcy. In 2007, Armstrong established an asbestos trust fund to compensate victims that contained over $2 million.

The History of Armstrong and Asbestos Usage

Armstrong used asbestos to both insulate and fireproof its products. Asbestos is a toxic material that is resistant to heat and is often used to fireproof materials. Some of the asbestos-containing products manufactured by Armstrong include cement, vinyl flooring, insulation, and tiles. A few of the particular products manufactured by the company include Accobest gasket material.

At the time that the company filed for bankruptcy in 2000, it faced over 175,000 personal injury claims connected to asbestos and personal liability of $1.4 billion. Armstrong later reorganized in August of 2006 and established a trust fund to compensate both outstanding as well as future asbestos claims. In 2007, Armstrong started accepting claims.

In the first two years that the trust accepted claims, it received over 200,000 of them. In October 2020, the trust revised its payment schedule, which describes the percentage of each claim the trust pays. The edit lowered how much the company pays for existing claims from 26% to 19.7%. While this was a reduction, the percentage is still higher than the compensation provided by most other asbestos trusts.

Asbestos Exposure Litigation and Armstrong

The first asbestos-exposure case in which Armstrong was involved was the 1970 case of Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Product Corporation. Borel initiated legal action against Armstrong as well as 10 additional companies that manufactured asbestos-containing insulation. Borel developed mesothelioma and asbestos after years of working with the company’s products. This case was the first one to recognize that a manufacturer has a duty to warn others about the dangers presented by asbestos.

Over the following decades, Armstrong was involved in thousands of asbestos claims. The company paid millions of dollars because courts found that Armstrong knowingly looked past the dangers that workers faced as a result of working around asbestos.

One of the most notable cases in which Armstrong was involved was the 1991 case of Miller v. Armstrong, which ended up a precedent-establishing case. The plaintiff, in this case, had been employed as an insulator between 1946 to 1951. The plaintiff reported using asbestos-containing products manufactured by Armstrong, but he did not know that asbestos exposure was dangerous. In the 1980s, the plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with pleural thickening and ultimately asbestosis. The plaintiff filed a personal injury action against Armstrong pursuing compensation for his illness. Armstrong responded by arguing that due to the statute of limitations, the plaintiff was barred from pursuing compensation. The court first ruled in favor of Armstrong, but this summary judgment decision was later overturned.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Asbestos Exposure Attorney

If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Armstrong, you should not hesitate to speak with a skilled lawyer at the Throneberry Law Group. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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