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Hercules Chemical Company Incorporated was established in the 1910s in New York City. The company dealt with chemicals as well as other products for boilers, furnaces, and plumbing. Many of these products contained asbestos due to the material’s durable and heat-resistant nature up until the 1980s. Many people ended up facing asbestos-associated illnesses after being exposed to these products and subsequently pursued litigation against Hercules Chemical Company Incorporated. The company later created a trust fund to compensate victims.The History of Asbestos Usage and Hercules Chemical
Hercules Chemical was first founded to manufacture chemicals that had a plumbing purpose. The company’s founder created the company at the start of the 1900s in New York City. Hercules produced various products to help those involved in the plumbing industry including acids, cement, and wax. The products offered by the company expanded and evolved as the company expanded, which meant that the materials Hercules used changed to satisfy consumer needs.
Beginning in the 1950s, the company started producing asbestos-containing products. The mineral was frequently found in plumbing products due to its durable, non-flammable characteristics. It does not promptly break down when exposed to either heat or water.
Among the products manufactured by Hercules is Sta-Put, which is a putty utilized as a leak-proof material for drains, faucets, and pipes. Another popular product manufactured by Hercules was furnace/retort cement. These products were offered with “high heat” options and asbestos was placed in these materials due to its heat-resistant and durable nature. The company discontinued its use of asbestos in the 1980s, but not before many consumers and workers were exposed to the dangerous substance.Bankruptcy Caused by Asbestos and Hercules Chemical
Before the company filed for bankruptcy, Hercules was facing over 7,000 unresolved asbestos claims. Many people filed asbestos-associated claims due to exposure to Sta-Put putty. Due to the large number of asbestos claims brought against the company, Hercules ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company received a bankruptcy discharge two years later, after a New Jersey bankruptcy court approved a reorganization plan.
Hercules was acquired by Oatey, a distribution and manufacturing network, in 2013. Even though the company continues to be in operation, it remains involved in asbestos litigation and utilizes its trust funds to compensate claimants.
Hercules utilized asbestos in its products beginning in the 1930s and lasting until the 1980s. As a result, the company exposed thousands of individuals to the danger of asbestos. In 2008, the company filed for bankruptcy. That same year, the company faced around 7,000 outstanding lawsuits associated with asbestos exposure.
Hercules also faced lawsuits for chemicals that the company placed in its products that caused serious health issues. For example, Hercules placed a chemical referred to as Agent Orange in its product. Agent Orange has since been proven to cause cancer.
Hercules created an asbestos trust in 2010 after the company was discharged from bankruptcy. The trust started accepting claims in 2011 and was first funded with $8.6 million. The trust’s payment percentage is 4.7% for successful claims. The trust currently accepts and pays claims.Speak With a Knowledgeable Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-exposure-related illness, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.