Founded in 1929, Owens-Illinois Incorporated manufactured asbestos insulation under the name of “Kaylo” during the 1940s and 1950s. As a result, this company has faced countless asbestos lawsuits, beginning in the 1980s and continuing to today.The History of Asbestos Manufacturing and Owens-Illinois Incorporated
From 1948 to 1958, Owens-Illinois manufactured a line of asbestos boiler and pipe insulation product under the Kaylo name. This company was later sold to Owens Corning in 1958. As early as 1948, the director of research for Owens-Illinois engaged on tests involving guinea pigs and “Kaylo dust.” Following 30 months of exposure, “unmistakable evidence” of asbestos exposure was found. The company, however, failed to act on this information and continued using asbestos in its products. As a result of this decision, Owens-Illinois workers and other individuals who handled Kaylo products later developed severe asbestos-associated illnesses. Many of these victims have pursued legal action against the company.
Owens-Illinois constructed one of the most “automated” glass container plants in the world when in 1961 the company built a plant in Brockport, New York. This plant spanned a 70-acre site on Owens Road close to Route 31. The plant employed more than 400 workers and for a time acted as a substantial source of economic activity in Brockport. Claiming that New York state’s forced deposit law created hardships for the glass container business, the company closed the Brockport plant in 1985. The plant was demolished in the 1990s.
Some of the products containing asbestos manufactured by Owens-Illinois include Kaylo Block Insulation and Kaylo Pipe Covering. Owens-Illinois factory workers who manufactured asbestos-containing products faced the greatest risk of asbestos. Factory workers who did not manufacture these products, however, were also at risk of asbestos exposure. This is because asbestos fibers circulate through the air. Additionally, because asbestos products were used throughout the factory, anyone who worked equipment like boilers or furnaces likely encountered the products. Construction workers, insulators, and pipefitters are some of these individuals who are at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure.Asbestos Litigation and Owens-Illinois
Owens-Illinois has been involved in countless lawsuits involving asbestos exposure; some of the most noteworthy cases in which the company has been involved include the following:
- The first lawsuit against the company was filed in 1981. By the end of 1997, the company had resolved 210,000 asbestos-related claims and had 14,000 claims pending.
- At one time, the company reported a total asbestos liability of $817 million. In 2018, the company paid down on this liability to $105 million.
- A 2019 report from the company states paid $71 million in asbestos claims in the first quarter of 2019.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-associated condition after prolonged contact with products manufactured by Owens-Illinois Incorporated, you should remember that you have a right as a victim to pursue compensation. Reach out to an experienced attorney for help filing a claim. Contact our law office today by calling (888) 506-1131 or schedule a free case evaluation with us online.