Asbestos Manufacturers Shook & Fletcher

Posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at 1:17 pm    

Shook and Fletcher: History

Museum piece. Asbestos has long been used in construction but we now know that asbestos dust is a cause of lung cancer.

Shook and Fletcher originated in 1901 as iron, brick and coal product manufacturers. In 1949, they joined the insulation sector and are still the largest industry insulation producers in the southeast of the United States today.

Before the 1970s, the company mainly used asbestos as an insulator for their products; they then replaced the asbestos fibers with fiber glass and other chemicals.

Shook and Fletcher: Asbestos lawsuits

Former employees of the company that had been exposed to asbestos and become ill have filed asbestos lawsuits against the company since the mid-1970s. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2002, by then they had at least eighty thousand (80000) active claims against them.

By the time the company had filed for bankruptcy in 2002, they had paid out more than forty million dollars ($40 million) in asbestos lawsuit settlements. Though the company filed bankruptcy they reported an annual income of twenty two million dollars ($22 million). They filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, which allows to pay creditors over time and keep ones business alive.

One lawsuit was that of a wife whose husband was an insulator and had died of mesothelioma. The cancer was caused by asbestos exposure from various places of employment, including Shook and Fletcher. The outcome of the lawsuit was an eight million and four hundred thousand dollar ($8.4 million) verdict to be divided among all the companies the man had worked for.

After filing bankruptcy, the company set up a trust fund called the Shook and Fletcher Asbestos Settlement Trust. The trust fund was set up to handle asbestos personal injury payments out of court.

Shook and Fletcher: Occupational Hazard

Shook and Fletcher employees who worked with the following products before the 1970s were at the highest risk of inhaling asbestos fibers:

  • Cement
  • Ceramic fibers
  • Plastic jacketing
  • Mineral fiber pipes
  • Adhesives
  • Cement
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