Before its closure, Johns-Manville was one of the country's biggest manufacturers of construction products. At the start of the 20th century, the company became one of the biggest distributors of asbestos-containing products, as well.
By the start of the 1980s, as a result of its asbestos usage, the company faced countless lawsuits involving asbestos exposure. These lawsuits ultimately caused the company to file for bankruptcy. Today, the company is known as Johns Manville and continues to manufacture construction materials, but does not make asbestos-containing products.The History of Asbestos Usage and Johns Manville
Before 1901, H.W. Johns Manufacturing and Manville Covering were focused on the creation of asbestos-containing materials. In 1868, Johns obtained his first asbestos product patent. 20 years later, Manville was operating the Manville Covering Company, which created pipe insulation made from asbestos. Manville Covering started selling H.W. Johns' materials. Later, in 1898, Johns passed away.
Despite Johns's death, the company still sold asbestos-containing products. Following a merger between the two companies, the new corporation still focused on widening the array of asbestos-containing products that it offered. The company continued selling asbestos products until the 1970s.
Johns Manville was able to sell so many products that it became a public company in 1927. The usage of asbestos in products reached a peak during the 1970s. During both World Wars, the company continued to grow.
By the 1920s, workers at the company started observing asbestos-exposure-related illnesses. Only in the 1960s, however, was a bigger emphasis placed on the harmful effects of being exposed to asbestos. The company continued selling asbestos-containing products for several decades.Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits and Johns Manville
Workers at Johns Manville first complained about asbestos exposure in the late 1920s. The company first resolved asbestos exposure claims in private, but the number of asbestos claims began to grow substantially. The company tried to discredit asbestos exposure claims by arguing that workers were negligent about the dangers of asbestos. By 1979, the company was involved as a defendant in around 1,500 legal cases.
One claim against the company was brought in 1985 when a boilermaker contracted lung cancer. He had worked in the industry since the late 1930s. The worker argued that he had never interacted closely with insulators but noted that asbestos dust existed in his work atmosphere. Due to his prolonged exposure, the man developed asbestos lung cancer and saw a notable decline in his health.The Johns Manville Asbestos Exposure Trust Fund
The company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in the early 1980s as a result of financial debt brought on by countless asbestos exposure lawsuits. As a term of being discharged from bankruptcy, the company was required to establish an asbestos exposure trust. The trust became operational in 1988. By the early 1990s, the company faced almost 200,000 asbestos exposure claims.Speak With an Experienced Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Johns Manville, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney at Throneberry Law Group. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling (888) 506-1131.