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Babcock & Wilcox

Babcock & Wilcox placed asbestos in various products manufactured by the company including boilers and other kinds of equipment that can withstand high temperatures. Babcock & Wilcox was ultimately involved in thousands of asbestos exposure lawsuits as a defendant. The pressure from these lawsuits ultimately led the company to file for bankruptcy. Later, as a term of emerging from bankruptcy, the company was required to create a trust fund to address asbestos claims.

The History of Babcock & Wilcox and Asbestos Usage

Babcock & Wilcox manufactured various kinds of equipment designed to endure high-temperature environments. Asbestos was a desirable product for use in this equipment due to the material’s durable and heat-resistant qualities. Even though Babcock & Wilcox never directly created asbestos-containing products, the company utilized asbestos products made by other companies while creating its equipment.

Babcock & Wilcox utilized various asbestos-containing products including heat seals, insulation, gaskets, millboard, and rope packing. These various products were utilized in power generation equipment as well as furnaces and other kinds of equipment used in refractories. Many workers who were involved with manufacturing and installing these products were directly at risk of contracting mesothelioma.

Litigation Involving Asbestos Exposure and Babcock & Wilcox

Babcock first faced asbestos exposure-associated claims in the early 1980s. The company is reported to have resolved over 300,000 asbestos exposure claims by 2000 which cost the company approximately $1.6 billion in compensation including court costs. Around this time, the company realized that it could no longer pay for its mounting asbestos litigation costs and was required to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

Some of the lawsuits in which Babcock & Wilcox was involved include:

  • In 1996, a man who had worked as a pipefitter for the U.S. Navy received over $2.5 million in compensation following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. The court found that Babcock as well as over 30 other asbestos companies were liable for the man’s illness and later death.
  • Another former worker for the U.S. Navy was exposed to insulation as well as other asbestos-containing products while serving in various positions including as a machinist mate aboard a U.S. Navy ship. After deciding that asbestos exposure led to the man’s death, a court found that the man’s family had suffered approximately $6 million in damages. Among the defendants in the case, 16 entities chose to resolve matters with the man’s estate out of court.
The Creation of the Babcock & Wilcox Asbestos Trust

In early 2000, Babcock & Wilcox pursued bankruptcy. The company ultimately emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2006. The reorganization plan established by Babcock & Wilcox was funded with $1.85 billion in asbestos-associated claims. Trust managers established a website including approximately 2,000 types of workers who were at risk of asbestos exposure to equipment manufactured by the company.

Either expedited or individual review claims can be filed with the trust. While expedited claims are quicker, expedited payments are fixed despite the health of the person pursuing compensation. Individual reviews lead to varying amounts of compensation, but often require more time to review. The trust reviews both types of claims annually. Currently, the trust compensates 8.8% of a case’s total value.

Speak With a Knowledgeable Asbestos Exposure Attorney

Babcock & Wilcox is just one of many companies known to have manufactured products that contain asbestos. If you or your loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma or another illness following exposure to products manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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