Established in 1886 by a Scottish man, Congoleum grew to become the one-time biggest producer of linoleum throughout the world. As Congoleum grew, the company utilized asbestos in various flooring products. Congoleum stopped the production of asbestos-containing products in the early 1980s as a result of the countless asbestos exposure lawsuits that the company faced.Congoleum and its Asbestos Usage
In 1886, the Nairns emigrated from Scotland to the United States. The company operated a factory in Scotland for several decades previously. After the company was established in New Jersey, the Nairns started producing linoleum for use on floors.
At the start of the 1900s, the company merged with a Pennsylvania Congoleum supplier. Together, the companies made wood grain that was utilized as a border for both linoleum and rugs. Flooring manufactured by Congoleum was known to have included asbestos. Congoleum ultimately used asbestos until 1983. The company valued asbestos due to the material's durable qualities, particularly on heavily-trafficked flooring.
Manufacturers in the United States greatly slowed down the usage of asbestos in the 1980s, and Congoleum began to use alternate materials for flooring products. Congoleum ultimately exposed thousands of workers and consumers to asbestos.
Congoleum manufactured millions of products, including countless floor products, that contained asbestos. Some of these products include sheet flooring, tile, and vinyl. Because Congoleum's products were so popular, they ended up in many homes as well as schools, which exposed
countless individuals to asbestos. As a result of widespread asbestos usage in flooring during the 1900s, countless workers at the company were exposed to asbestos. Some of the types of workers who were exposed to asbestos include installers, construction workers, demolition workers, firefighters, contractors, and factory workers.Congoleum and Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
Because Congoleum produced various asbestos-containing flooring materials, many workers and consumers started speaking about the harm presented by exposure to asbestos. Congoleum ultimately pursued bankruptcy in the early 1990s as a result of the many asbestos exposure claims it faced. Even though the company labeled its materials to suggest the presence of asbestos, consumers and workers were not aware of the various risks they faced when handling the flooring. This led to Congoleum's involvement in countless lawsuits.
One notable case in which the company was involved occurred in 1996 when a flooring contractor initiated a lawsuit against the company as well as several other manufacturers of flooring. The man was diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos. The man argued that his illness was the result of exposure to flooring. While the company attempted to deny its involvement in exposing the man to asbestos, the judge declined to dismiss the case. Congoleum was ultimately assigned 25% responsibility for the man's exposure to asbestos. The man, unfortunately, passed away during the trial.Do Not Hesitate to Contact an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Congoleum, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer. Call (888) 506-1131 to schedule a free case evaluation with the Throneberry Law Group.