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Rapid American (Philip Carey Mfg. Co.)

Rapid American Corporation ultimately pursued bankruptcy in 2013 to avoid facing approximately 300,000 claims of asbestos exposure. This legal difficulty followed the company’s merger during the 1970s with Philip Carey Manufacturing Corporation, a product of asbestos-containing products used for insulation.

The History of Rapid American

Routinely referred to as “Old Carey,” the company started operation in Ohio at the end of the 1880s. For several decades, Philip Carey manufactured insulation products that were placed in various types of industrial equipment including pipe generators, boilers, and other products. For almost 80 years, the company manufactured asbestos-containing products for various industries.

In 1972, Philip Carey merged with Rapid-American Corporation, which was also a company headquartered and founded in Ohio. Philip Carey utilized asbestos to make its products, which exposed many workers to the danger of asbestos. The company as well as its subsidiaries became the focus of a substantial number of lawsuits after individuals began to face harm from these products.

Asbestos Litigation and Asbestos Exposure

Rapid American Corporation first faced asbestos-exposure-associated litigation in 1974 following the company’s acquisition by Philip Carey. The company ended up facing financial hardships as a result of asbestos-exposure lawsuits brought against Rapid American as well as its subsidiaries.

The company ultimately pursued Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013 after around 275,000 claims associated with asbestos exposure were brought against it. Rapid American only resolved less than 100,000 of these claims.

Rapid-American as well as two other entities in 2017 requested an order of protection from parties who attempted to “double-dip” in asbestos compensation. A bankruptcy judge denied the order in 2018 and refused to remove subpoenas issued by insurers who process asbestos personal injury claims.

Some notable cases brought against the company include:

  • A worker was exposed to asbestos after working for another company as a metal worker from 1954 to 1979. In the early 1980s, the man received an asbestosis diagnosis. Asbestosis is a nonmalignant disease that results from inhaling asbestos fibers. The worker ultimately received a $25,00 settlement. Later in the 1990s, the man received a mesothelioma diagnosis that resulted from his asbestos exposure. Philip Carey argued the man was outside the statute of limitations to pursue compensation. The man showed undisputed evidence that asbestosis, as well as mesothelioma, were separate injuries. The trial court ruled in favor of the company, and a court of appeals also later ruled in favor of the company.
  • In 1997, the family of a man filed a lawsuit against the company siding with 44 other defendants for wrongful death connected to the sale as well as insulation and repair of asbestos-containing products. The man spent several years as a welder where he utilized asbestos-containing products made by Rapid-American as well as other companies. The man ultimately died from mesothelioma in 1995.

After Rapid American filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the company became part of an ongoing dispute with insurers responsible for addressing liabilities. Several insurers that issued Rapid American policies later became insolvent and could not pay the entirety of these policies. In 2016, a bankruptcy judge ruled that most insurers owed nothing to the company for asbestos claims until the company ran out of the $700 million it promised to pay.

The company’s bankruptcy plan was ultimately approved. As a term of obtaining a bankruptcy discharge, the company was required to fund an asbestos trust.

Contact an Asbestos-Exposure Attorney Today

If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Rapid American, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact the Throneberry Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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