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Rutland Fire Clay Company

Rutland Fire Company produced products that contained asbestos from the start of the 20th century to the late 1970s. The company later faced legal action from former and current Rutland workers who claimed that using products manufactured by the company caused them to develop asbestos-related illnesses. Rutland later went bankrupt due to the volume of asbestos lawsuits it faced, but not before establishing a trust fund to compensate the future victims of asbestos exposure.

The History of Rutland and Asbestos Usage

Established in Vermont in the late 19th century, Rutland Fire Clay Company began by selling a stove lining that was designed to lower the collection of soot, which in turn increased a stove’s efficiency.

Over the following decades, the company’s product line widened to include various products like home repair items and stove polishes. Asbestos was placed in many of these items due to the material’s heat-resistant and durable nature.

Today, Rutland is headquartered in North Carolina, while its products are shipped from Illinois.

The company’s primary focus revolved around controlling the combustible byproduct creosote, which collects in both wood and coal chimneys as well as stoves.

Many Rutland products manufactured at the start of the 20th century were created to lower soot. As a result, Rutland became a popular product during the Second World War when a growing number of people depended on wood stoves.

Rutland focuses on manufacturing various construction products. Before its dangers were discovered, asbestos seemed an attractive option for these products due to the material’s durable nature. For example, asbestos was utilized as a filler in products like cement and compounds.

Similar to other asbestos-product manufacturers, Rutland ended up facing thousands upon thousands of lawsuits by workers who claimed that they contracted asbestos-related illnesses following exposure to the company’s asbestos-containing products. Consequently, Rutland eventually filed for bankruptcy. As a term of emerging from bankruptcy, Rutland was required to establish a trust fund to compensate both present and future victims.

Despite the challenges it has faced, Rutland continues to operate a North Carolina headquarters in 2022.

Rutland and Bankruptcy Cases

In 1999, when Rutland opened its asbestos trust, the company faced more than 37,000 pending cases, which totaled more than $3 million in assets. That same year, the president of Rutland provided a congressional testimony where he articulated Rutland’s liability for both current and future asbestos cases at $57 million. The president attributed this large number of bankruptcy cases as to why the company had to file bankruptcy.

In 2000, Rutland established the Rutland Fire Clay Company Asbestos Trust to resolve current and future asbestos claims. Between November 2010 and January 2011 was the last date when the trust accepted asbestos claims.

Contact a Knowledgeable Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Being diagnosed with a mesothelioma-related illness can be frightening. If you or a loved one has received a mesothelioma diagnosis following exposure to a Rutland product, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Schedule a free case evaluation with Throneberry Law Group today by calling 888-506-1131.

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