Georgia-Pacific LLC recently pledged to advance $1 billion to an asbestos liability trust fund to compensate victims who developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers as a result of exposure to asbestos caused by one of the company’s subsidiaries. Georgia-Pacific’s affiliate, Bestwall LLC, is currently embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings as part of reorganization proceedings to free the parent company from the legal liability from the subsidiary, which it purchased in 1965.
During its history, Bestwall LLC, formerly known as Bestwall Gypsum Company, manufactured asbestos containing products such as gypsum wallboard, acoustical plaster, joint compounds and drywall adhesives. Bestwall used asbestos, as many companies did for decades, due to the mineral’s heat-resistant properties which allowed it to be molded to fit a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications.
Unfortunately for workers and consumers, asbestos is a known carcinogen that is directly linked to developing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects the thin linings of tissues surrounding the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity. Even worse, asbestos companies like Bestwall knew for years about the health risks posed by exposure to asbestos but provided no safety precautions or warnings to manufacturing workers, those working with the materials, or consumers about the risks associated with the carcinogenic products. Sadly, thousands of Americans every year receive a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, leaving most of them with just months to live and few treatment options to improve their prognosis,