The Keene Corporation began its operation with the production of heat-sealed packaging. While the company grew noticeably in size, it expanded into various other industries including fireproofing and insulation. Unfortunately, many of these products contained asbestos and resultantly exposed a large number of workers to the dangers associated with asbestos.The History of the Company
First called the Keene Packaging Corporation, the Keene Corporation manufactured fireproofing, insulation, and bearings that contained asbestos. Products manufactured by the company later included microcircuits and lighting fixtures.
Despite medical literature suggesting the dangers of asbestos since the 1920s, Keene continued selling asbestos-containing products until 1970. Asbestos-containing products were sold through two of Keene’s subsidiaries — Keene Building Products Corporation and Baldwin-Ehret-Hill Company.
By 1990, the company faced 9,000 outstanding asbestos claims. Also in 1990, Luke E. Fichthorn III took control of the company. Several years later, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and began restructuring. This led to the establishment of the Keene Creditors Trust to pay the victims of asbestos exposure due to work at the Keene Corporation. Funded with an initial amount of $45 million, the trust remains active and its current payment percentage is .8%.Products Manufactured by the Company
Some of the most popular asbestos-containing products manufactured by the company include air cells, types of paper, insulation, insulating cement, pipe insulation, packings, and gaskets.Workers Exposed to Asbestos-Containing Product
Given that Keene Corporation sold various asbestos-containing products, various workers were exposed to the hazard of later being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Some of the types of workers known to have handled asbestos-containing Keene Corporation products include boiler operators, carpenters, engineers, mechanics, firefighters, insulators, and plumbers.Locations Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
1,415 locations have been identified as having used asbestos-containing products manufactured by Keene. Some of these locations include Yale University, West Point Military Academy, the USS Havana, Kings County Hospital, and Bethlehem Shipyard.Asbestos Litigation and Keene Corporation
Asbestos lawsuits were first brought against the Keene Corporation in the early 1970s and continued heavily through the 1990s.
One case involved a former sheet metal worker who was exposed to block insulation while on the job site. While the worker never handled asbestos directly, he was still exposed to it. A jury, in this case, awarded the deceased man’s family $3 million. Another case involved an electrician and eight other defendants who claimed they were exposed to Keen products that contained asbestos while working at the Philadelphia Naval Yard.
Another case involved an electrician and several other defendants who were exposed to Keene asbestos-containing products while working at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. The jury later assessed that Keene as well as several other companies were liable for the worker’s illness and he was awarded almost half a million dollars.Contact an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
Various people were harmed as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Keene Corporation. If you have been harmed by one of these products, you should not hesitate to speak with the Throneberry Law Group.