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By 1980, HK Porter faced over 100,000 lawsuits associated with asbestos exposure. By this time, the company also paid over $200 million in associated settlements. The value of these asbestos lawsuits ultimately caused the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991. An asbestos trust was later established by HK Porter to compensate asbestos victims.The History of H.K. Porter
In 1866, HK Porter began operation as Smith & Porter. A decade later, the company changed its name to HK Porter & Company, and then in 1899 changed its name to HK Porter Company.
Early on, Porter was focused on manufacturing and repairing locomotives. By the 1920s, Porter was one of the biggest manufacturers of locomotives in the country. Due to the decreased demand for locomotives and increased pneumatic tire truck industry, HK Porter filed for bankruptcy in 1937.
In 1939, a new HK Porter Company was incorporated. This company focused on the manufacture as well as the sale of industrial components.
During the 1950s, Porter began purchasing several businesses involved in the manufacture as well as the sale and distribution of products that contain asbestos.Use of Asbestos by HK Porter
HK Porter valued asbestos due to the company’s heat-resistant and durable nature. Some products manufactured by the company that included asbestos include brakes, brake pads, fireproof cloth, gaskets, pipes, pistons, and steam valves.
Additionally, some companies purchased by HK Porter also utilized asbestos.
Workers at HK Porter were at risk of being exposed to asbestos. Besides HK Porter workers, any worker who used the products is also at risk of asbestos exposure.Litigation Involving HK Porter
Due to the company’s placement of asbestos in its products, HK Porter was named in lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death due to asbestos exposure. Following payment of over $200 million to people who had been exposed to asbestos, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1991. In 1996, as a term of the bankruptcy discharge, HK Porter was required to establish an asbestos exposure trust. The trust currently pays out 4% of claims.
In the early 1980s, HK Porter became involved in a large number of lawsuits involving asbestos exposure. One of these lawsuits involved HK Porter initiating legal action against its insurer to recoup damages paid in asbestos cases.
One lawsuit was initiated by a public school district that had used products manufactured by HK Porter in its buildings. After the company realized the risks presented by these materials, the district was required to pay for the cost of asbestos remediation as well as reconstruction of the building. The lawsuit requested that HK Porter pay for these costs. HK Porter won the case in district court but later lost on appeal.Contact a Compassionate Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or a loved one worked for a company that used asbestos, you might be at risk of being diagnosed with an asbestos-associated illness. One of the best ways to respond in such a situation is to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Throneberry Law Group today for assistance.