Durabla Manufacturing Company
Durabla Manufacturing Company is headquartered in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The company expanded by producing gasket sheeting for companies involved in the industrial and manufacturing industries. Additionally, Durabla manufactured materials used for packing. Unfortunately, Durabla exposed a large number of its workers to asbestos.Asbestos Usage and Durabla’s History
From 1914 until 1973, Durabla distributed sheet gaskets for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Durabla relied on asbestos due to the material’s durable and heat-resistant nature. The company relied on asbestos even though beginning in the 1920s, medical professionals acknowledged that asbestos could result in serious illnesses. Around the same time, United States insurance carriers stopped selling insurance to workers who handled asbestos.
Durabla made sealing products. Unfortunately, a large number of workers at Durabla who handled these products were exposed to asbestos. In the late 1970s, workers began to bring asbestos lawsuits seeking compensation for the illnesses that former workers now faced. Durabla received its first asbestos exposure claim in 1980.
Facing over 108,000 asbestos exposure lawsuits, Durabla filed for bankruptcy in 2009. As a term of the company’s emergence from bankruptcy, Durabla was required to create an asbestos trust.Asbestos Exposure and the Durabla Trust
The Durabla Manufacturing Company as well as the Durabla Canada Limited Asbestos Trust handle claims brought by the victims of asbestos exposure. During an initial three-year period, the trust accepted claims for filing. Following the initial period, the trust assesses the payment percentage and considers whether any additional actions are necessary to satisfy the trust’s purposes.
The trust’s primary coverage of $8.5 million lasted until 2002. The trust paid 16,017 claims at an average of a little over $500. Fortunately, Durabla was able to close approximately 62,000 cases without payment, but almost 80,000 asbestos-exposure cases remained open between 2002 to 2009.
In 2002, Durabla retained earnings of over $1 million. The company experienced a profit in three of the following four years. Sales did not cover overhead and Durabla discontinued its business in 2007.Asbestos Exposure Litigation and Durabla
Durabla has been involved in countless lawsuits addressing asbestos exposure. Some of the lawsuits in which Durabla has been involved include:
- In 2018, a jury in New York state awarded the plaintiff $40.1 million and found that his exposure to asbestos found in gaskets manufactured by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company led to him developing mesothelioma. In August of the year, the jury in the New York County Supreme Court held that the plaintiff was exposed to airborne asbestos released from Durabla gasket material which was manufactured by Goodyear. The jury also held that Goodyear knew or should have known the product was dangerous. Goodyear was subsequently found negligent in failing to warn consumers that Durabla gaskets contained asbestos and could be dangerous.
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.