Paddock Enterprises, successor to Owens-Illinois, Inc., has established an asbestos bankruptcy trust.
It was announced in July 2022 that Paddock Enterprises, a successor company to infamous Owens-Illinois, had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. These proceedings involve a company in financial distress that is seeking to reorganize its assets, and needs court approval to do so.
The original petition for Chapter 11 was filed in January 2020, and the reorganization plan was confirmed (approved) by the Court in May 2022. It is this plan that lays the foundation for the establishment of a bankruptcy trust fund. According to a press release, the trust was funded with $610 million.
So, what exactly is an asbestos trust?
(And why does Paddock need one?)
Some asbestos companies were sued by workers with injury claims as early as the 1930s. For many others, like O-I, the litigation against them began in the 1970s and continued to pile on as years passed. Settling cases and going to trial was very expensive, and many companies determined that they needed to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Under the laws and regulations regarding Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filings, the companies were ordered by their respective Courts to form asbestos bankruptcy trusts. The trusts are funded by the companies and their insurance providers, often with millions or billions of dollars set aside for the sole purpose of providing compensation to victims injured by asbestos exposure.
Early Days of Owens-Illinois Glass Co.
In 1929, Owens Bottle Co. and Illinois Glass Company merged, forming Owens-Illinois Glass Co. (later Owens-Illinois, Inc.). The 2 companies dominated the glass industry prior to their merger; they hoped to do the same after but struggled, like many companies, due to the Great Depression. In 1938, after reaching an agreement concerning fiberglass production, Owens-Illinois merged with Corning Glass Co. to form the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Co.
O-I’s main business has always been glass, but it was an infamous name in the asbestos industry.
It was in 1943 when Owens-Illinois began developing an asbestos insulation product. The product was made up of around 10-15% amosite or chrysotile asbestos, with the remaining 80-85% being hydro mono-calcium silicate. Originally known as K-lo, but changed to Kaylo before coming to market, the name meant to communicate that the product had a low “K Factor.”
A product’s “K factor” is the measure of heat that passes through one square foot of one inch thick material in an hour. And it stands to reason that asbestos was included in the ingredient list because it was affordable, and it’s durable and highly heat resistant.
Research on Kaylo showed that it was a dangerous product, but it was sold for almost 30 years anyway.
The Saranac Laboratory was hired by companies in the asbestos industry to carry out experiments and tests on their various products. In 1948, doctors from Saranac wrote the following to Owens-Illinois: “I realize that our findings regarding Kaylo are less favorable than anticipated. However, since Kaylo is capable of producing asbestosis, it is better to discover it now in animals rather than later in industrial workers.”
Owens-Illinois brought the product to market anyway and sold it from 1953 to 1958. Then, in 1958, Owens-Corning purchased the Kaylo factory in Berlin, New Jersey and began manufacturing and selling Kaylo. And it would continue to do so, keeping Kaylo on the market from 1958 to 1972.
The asbestos industry worked hard for decades to hide the dangers of their products. Over time, and through litigation, documents came to light and exposed what many companies knew.
In most cases, the Statute of Limitations to file an injury claim is around 2 years. Asbestos exposure has a long latency period, and 2 years would not be enough time. Latency refers to the time it takes for symptoms of an asbestos related disease to develop. It is often anywhere from 20-50 years after a person is exposed that they will find out they have asbestosis or cancer.
The Discovery Rule in Asbestos Law
Something in the legal system known as “the discovery rule” is helpful to victims of asbestos exposure. This means that instead of following the Statute of Limitations, those injured by asbestos have until a time they “reasonably discovered or should have discovered” their injury, which in this case would mean diagnosis of an asbestos related illness or disease.
Claims with Asbestos Trusts are usually an easier, faster way to receive compensation.
Every case is different, but asbestos bankruptcy trusts, which today hold more than $30 billion in unused funds, were established by courts to hold asbestos companies liable and pay out claims related to illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. They are perhaps the fastest method of compensation because they do not involve a lawsuit. An asbestos attorney can file and document your condition to ensure you receive fair compensation for your illness.
Each trust has certain criteria that a person must meet to qualify for compensation for their claim. This typically includes providing the trust with information about your work or exposure history, medical history and diagnosis of asbestos related disease, and any other information deemed relevant by the trust.
If you have questions and aren’t sure which option is best for you, consider referencing a database like W.A.R.D., which is the largest repository of asbestos information on the planet! It has documents and extensive details of asbestos-contaminated workplaces, companies and products (even ones that no longer exist) and this information can help you prove exposure quickly, without any delay. For more information, discuss your options with an asbestos attorney.
AsbestosClaims.law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information is helpful.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.
If you believe that your home was contaminated with asbestos, or you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, or have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being.
All without filing a lawsuit.
If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.