Rapid-American Corporation/Philip Carey (RAC/PC) declared bankruptcy in 2013 as the result of the almost 300,000 asbestos exposure lawsuits the company faced. Legal issues arose from the merger between Rapid-American and Philip Carey.The History of Asbestos Exposure and Philip Carey
For many years, Philip Carey manufactured products utilized in an industrial setting, which included generators, boilers, and pipes. For almost 80 years, the company mined asbestos and manufactured products known to contain asbestos. The company began life following its establishment in Ohio in the late 1880s.
In 1972, the company merged with Rapid-American, another Ohio corporation. Because Philip Carey utilized asbestos in various products, countless workers were exposed to this material.Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits Involving the Company
Rapid-American first faced lawsuits involving asbestos exposure in the early 1970s following its merger with Philip Carey. More than 1,000 lawsuits were brought against RAC/PC as well as its subsidiaries. The financial pressure from these lawsuits ended up causing financial hardship for the company. As a result, RAC/PC later filed for bankruptcy in 2013. RAC/PC resolved only around 75,000 of these lawsuits. The company later listed that it had somewhere between $100 to $500 million in debt.
In 2017, RAC/PC and two other groups requested an order of protection from people who wanted to double-dip into the asbestos compensation system. A bankruptcy judge in 2018 refused to strike subpoenas issued by insurance carriers tasked with processing asbestos exposure claims.
One case involved a worker who came into contact with asbestos from the 1950s to the 1970s during his time spent as a metal worker. In 1982, the man received an asbestosis diagnosis and initiated legal action against Johns-Manville Corporation. The man was later compensated. In 1994, the man was diagnosed with mesothelioma and initiated legal action against Rapid-American. The company argued that the man's case fell outside the statute of limitations, but he established that asbestosis is a separate illness from mesothelioma. The trial court later granted summary judgment to the defendants based on the statute of limitations. The Texas Supreme Court later reversed this decision and held that an individual who received compensation for an asbestos-associated illness should have a second chance if they later receive a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Another case was brought in 1997 by the family of a man who brought legal action against Rapid-American in addition to 44 other potentially responsible parties for the man's wrongful death. The deceased man had previously been employed as a welder and utilized asbestos-containing materials made by Rapid-American. The man ultimately was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1995. This case revealed the various occupational harms connected with exposure to asbestos-containing products.
The company continues to face various lawsuits with insurance carriers who handle liabilities brought on by asbestos exposure. For example, various insurance carriers that issued policies became insolvent and could not pay the full policy amounts. In 2016, a bankruptcy judge held that most excess insurers did not owe anything to the company in connection to asbestos exposure claims until the company spent the $700 million that it promised to spend on asbestos victims.Speak With an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of asbestos-exposure-containing products, consider contacting the Throneberry Law Group. Call us today at (888) 506-1131.