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Chicago Bridge & Iron Company

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I) was a large-sized engineering operation as well as a construction company with headquarters in Texas. The company specializes in projects for clients in the oil and gas industry. In 2018, the company combined with McDermot International. McDermott then faces challenges in combining the two ventures following this acquisition. Several years later, at the beginning of 2020, McDermott announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the result of asbestos litigation. As a term of the bankruptcy discharge, a $22.5 million trust was established to address asbestos claims.

The History of CB&I

CB&I was established in 1889 in Chicago, Illinois. While the company was first involved in designing bridges as well as construction, the company later shifted its focus to bulk liquid storage at the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s. This coincided with the expansion of railroads across the country and oil discovery in the country’s southwest region.

CB&I quickly gained a reputation for both its field construction and design engineering of tanks to store water as well as tanks for the storage of petroleum and other vessels used in the refinery process. The company supported oil expansion outside the country beginning with activity in South America and Asia during the 1920 and 1930s.

A joke that was quickly told about the company is that it was not located in Chicago and did not build bridges or use irons despite its name.

During the difficult years of World War II, the company was appointed to construct landing ship tanks, which transported troops as well as supplies throughout Europe and the Pacific. The company was selected due to its reputation. Given that shipyards were busy constructing large vessels for the war, no alternative existed except to utilize shipyards and inland waterways to produce smaller ships. Consequently to these and other war-era efforts, the company was positioned at 92nd among US companies and the value of their World War II military contracts.

In 1996, the Praxair company acquired CB&I. Soon afterward the company repositioned its headquarters from Chicago to Houston and then to the Netherlands following the passage of a franchise tax in Texas.

In 2003, the company purchased John Brown Hydrocarbons and renamed it CB&I John Brown then CB&I UK Limited. Several years later, in 2007, the company added around 3,000 new workers. In 2012, CB&I Technology won a contract with Reliance Industries, an Indiana petrochemical company, involving the production of paraxylene (P-Xylene) technology for an Indian aromatics complex.

In 2012, CB&I purchased The Shaw Group for approximately $3 billion following the completion of the acquisition in February 2013. The CB&I Stone Webster subsidiary was consequently formed. In 2018, CB&I was acquired by McDermott Industries for $6 billion. Following this acquisition, McDermott struggled to integrate the company and ended up facing bankruptcy in 2020. At the beginning of 2020, the company announced it had filed for bankruptcy.

Asbestos-Containing Products Made by CB&I

CB&I is known to have exposed countless workers to asbestos from the 1920s to the 1980s. The material for a time played a valuable role in shipbuilding. Asbestos was used in the installation of equipment and machinery, installing gaskets, insulation of buildings, and construction materials used in floors and ceiling tiles. When any of these products are disturbed, the fibers can end up trapped in the lungs of workers.

Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Many people were exposed to asbestos as a result of products manufactured by CB&I. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney who will fight for the results you deserve. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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