The United States Gypsum Corporation (USG) is responsible for the production of thousands of products that contained asbestos – placing millions of people at risk of serious illnesses. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, cancer or another illness and can trace your exposure back to products manufactured by USG, you may be eligible for compensation through the company’s asbestos trust fund.
The team of asbestos attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you understand your rights and file a claim with this trust in pursuit of a fair financial recovery. Contact us for a free case consultation.
The Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos in USG’s Products
Asbestos is a group of minerals that can cause cancer in humans. Exposure to asbestos can lead to fibers becoming lodged in the inner tissues of the body, including the protective mesothelial tissues around the lungs known as the pleura. Asbestos fibers can cause irritation and scarring over time. They can cause enough damage to create cancer cells. Cancer of the mesothelial tissues caused by asbestos is known as mesothelioma. This is a deadly and aggressive form of cancer with no known cure.
What Asbestos Products Did United States Gypsum Manufacture?
The United States Gypsum Corporation manufactured a variety of construction-related products and building materials for over 100 years. Many of their products created between 1920 and 1970 contained asbestos, with no warnings given to consumers about the presence of this toxic substance. USG was the largest distributor of wallboards in the U.S. – a type of construction board used to cover walls and ceilings.
As its name implies, U.S. Gypsum was also the largest manufacturer of gypsum products in the country. Gypsum is a sulfate mineral that is widely used to create products such as cement, drywall and pillar casings. Other products that USG manufactured are paint, mica products, ceiling panels, joint tape, joint compounds, plasters, exterior panels and insulation board.
Asbestos was a primary ingredient in many of USG’s most popular building materials. Two of these products were Sheetrock brand gypsum panels and Fiberock panels. These panels were installed in numerous homes, commercial buildings and other properties between 1920 to around 1978. Other popular products by USG include Perf-A-Tape, Durabond joint compound and Red Top Structo-Lite.
Who Is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure From USG?
People working or living in buildings where USG’s materials were used or installed could be at risk of serious health effects due to the presence of asbestos. According to the National Cancer Institute, a person who is exposed to asbestos even once could be at risk of related illnesses. However, those who are around asbestos-containing materials regularly, such as workers, are at the highest risk.
Workers who have been identified as high risk for asbestos exposure from USG products include:
- Shipbuilders, ship maintenance workers, shipyard workers and maritime workers
- Roof installers, roof maintenance workers, and shingle and siding workers
- Construction workers, builders, carpenters and contractors
- Plumbers and pipefitters working in installation, renovation or repair
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) workers and electricians
- Manufacturing, production, and power or chemical plant workers
The average latency period for mesothelioma and most other asbestos-related diseases is 20-60+ years. This means many workers do not notice symptoms or realize they have been affected by exposure to asbestos until many years later. Cases are still emerging today from workers who were exposed to United States Gypsum’s asbestos products in the 1900s.
What Is the United States Gypsum Trust?
After the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that asbestos was carcinogenic, USG and other major manufacturers stopped using asbestos in their products. Unfortunately, the damage was already done for thousands of victims. Years later, as cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses emerged, victims sought justice by filing claims for financial compensation against product manufacturing companies.
Manufacturers such as USG quickly became bankrupt due to the number of asbestos and mesothelioma claims brought against them. Most of these companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, where the company remains in possession and may continue to operate its business while restructuring its assets, debts and liabilities. United States Gypsum created an asbestos trust fund as part of its bankruptcy filing.
Asbestos trust funds are a source of compensation for mesothelioma victims that enable companies to pay those who were exposed to asbestos by their products despite a bankruptcy filing. The United States Gypsum Trust is a protected amount of money that can only be used to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. Filing a trust fund claim can result in payments made over time for a victim’s related medical expenses, lost income from being unable to work, funeral and burial costs, and other losses.
How to File a United States Gypsum Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
The United States Gypsum Trust was approved in 2006 and supplied with $4 billion in funds at its origination. This money is reserved to pay all valid asbestos personal injury claims filed against USG. The trust began accepting asbestos claims on February 19, 2007 and continues to take claims today.
If you wish to file a claim with the USG asbestos trust fund, take the following steps:
- Contact an attorney with experience handling asbestos trust fund claims to find out if you qualify for compensation. An attorney can assist you and your family throughout the claims process.
- Familiarize yourself with the settlement trust distribution procedures given by USG. This document explains how the trust works and how settlements are paid.
- File a claim using one of the two available methods: expedited review or individual review. The right method for you will depend on your situation and case goals.
The value of your asbestos trust fund claim will depend on your unique situation, such as your diagnosis and prognosis. Currently, USG trust fund claims are paid out at 12.7 percent of the amount requested. You may qualify for a greater settlement through a mesothelioma lawsuit against United States Gypsum.
Contact an Attorney About a United States Gypsum Trust Fund Claim
An attorney at Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you seek maximum financial compensation through all available legal outlets, including the United States Gypsum trust fund. If you are eligible for a product liability lawsuit against USG for its dangerous asbestos products, we can also assist you with this legal process. Contact us by calling (866) 871-7971 today for a free case consultation about your legal options.