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Asbestos Lawsuit

Asbestos Businesses Beginning to Feel the Pinch

Asbestos issues have dominated the news in recent years, and almost all of the coverage this substance has received has been negative in nature. The reason, as you’ve most likely seen and heard, is that asbestos has been almost definitively linked to several terminal diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer, and thousands of people have died well before their time as a result of being exposed to asbestos.

When a phenomenon like this unfolds, people tend to forget that at its height, asbestos manufacturing and distribution was a multi-billion dollar industry every year, as there was demand for the substance to help with such needs as building materials, plumbing and electrical product development and automobile brake manufacturing.

When a substance is basically banned after it enjoyed such a prominent place on several markets, the repercussions will be felt by several companies who made substantial profits on it. Such appears to be the case with Owens Corning, a corporate giant that is the largest manufacturer of asbestos in the United States.

In early 2006, news surfaced that Owens Corning filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the United States bankruptcy code, which means that the company’s growing pile of debts will eventually be reduced and paid off at a fraction of their original value. Not only did Owens Corning file for bankruptcy protection in 2006, but it also filed for similar protection in 2000, and it appears that the reason behind the two filings was the same each time.

Owens Corning was racked with enormous debt as a result of its production of asbestos and the numerous lawsuits that were filed against it based upon exposure to asbestos. The amount of debt was estimated at the time of its second bankruptcy filing in 2006 to exceed $10 billion in settlements, judgments and corresponding legal liability.

Perhaps the worst news for those with a financial interest in Owens Corning is the nature of the diseases that asbestos exposure causes. Specifically, mesothelioma, one of the diseases that is caused by asbestos exposure, can take years and even decades to develop, which means that the company could continue to face legal claims even after it eventually emerges from bankruptcy protection sometime in the future.

What this means to you is that even if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease as a result of exposure for which Owens Corning is responsible, you may not be out of legal options. Contact an asbestos lawyer at Williams Hart today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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