Asbestos is a dangerous and toxic substance that was present in numerous products and building materials until around the 1970s. It was especially common in construction products due to its ability to resist heat and fire. One prominent manufacturer of asbestos-containing building products was W.R. Grace and Co.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another illness caused by asbestos and believe a W.R. Grace and Co. product or a career with this company is to blame, you may qualify for financial compensation from an asbestos trust fund. Contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP to discuss this legal option.
W.R. Grace and Co.’s History
W.R. Grace and Co. was founded in 1854 by William Russell Grace, originally with a focus on the production of fertilizer and machinery. As time passed, the company entered many other industries, mostly by acquiring other companies. In 1963, it acquired Zonolite and began operating vermiculite mines, including a mine in Libby, Montana.
This is the mine responsible for producing an estimated 80 percent of the world’s supply of vermiculite. Unfortunately, the vermiculite from this mine was contaminated with asbestos. The Libby mine was shut down in 1990, but not before the contaminated vermiculite mined there was used in countless consumer products by W.R. Grace and Co.
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that are known to cause cancer, as confirmed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. If exposed to asbestos particles, a victim can eventually develop mesothelioma, asbestosis or a variety of other illnesses due to asbestos fibers getting stuck in the body’s tissues.
What Products Did W.R. Grace and Co. Manufacture?
W.R. Grace and Co. used the vermiculite it mined to create building and construction products such as insulation, spray-on fireproofing, cement, plaster and surface products. It was responsible for the popular Zonolite loose-fill attic insulation, which was installed in tens of millions of homes in the United States. Unfortunately, the presence of asbestos in contaminated vermiculite products threatened the safety and health of millions of workers and residents.
Injuries Caused by W.R. Grace and Co.’s Asbestos-Containing Products
According to the National Cancer Institute, even one instance of contact with asbestos could lead to life-threatening diseases. Inhaling or ingesting microscopic asbestos fibers and particles can lead to them getting lodged in the body and causing irritation, inflammation and scarring over time.
The damage caused by asbestos particles stuck in the body can result in the following:
- Mesothelioma: an aggressive cancer of the mesothelial tissues, which line most internal organs. The most common type (pleural mesothelioma) affects the pleura, or the protective lining that surrounds the lungs. There is no known cure for mesothelioma.
- Asbestosis: also known as pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung condition caused by irritation of the tissues of the lungs over time by asbestos particles. Common symptoms include shortness of breath and a persistent cough.
- Asbestos lung cancer: cancer of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos particles can get stuck in the lung tissue and cause irritation and inflammation, eventually creating cancer cells and malignant tumors.
Asbestos has also been associated with other illnesses, including ovarian cancer, pleural effusion, pleural plaques and pleural thickening. Most people do not experience the signs or symptoms of asbestos exposure until many years later. The average latency period for mesothelioma, for example, is 20-60+ years.
What Is the W.R. Grace and Co. Trust Fund?
Asbestos trust funds are a way for companies to compensate victims of asbestos exposure after declaring bankruptcy. W.R. Grace and Co. had to declare bankruptcy in 2001 due to the number of lawsuits (upward of 130,000) filed against it by workers and consumers who were injured due to exposure to asbestos from its products. In 2014, it finished its bankruptcy filing and created a trust fund with more than $3 billion set aside to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. It is known as the WRG Asbestos PI Trust.
The purpose of this trust is to allow the company to pay its financial liabilities for all injury claims associated with the presence of asbestos in its products. The money that remains in the trust today is reserved for people who have been injured by W.R. Grace and Co. products. The trustees, or the parties with legal authority over the trust, will administer compensation to eligible claimants in accordance with the PI Trust Agreement. This document contains the required procedures for processing trust fund claims.
What Is the W.R. Grace and Co. Payment Percentage?
All major asbestos trust funds have specific percentages that control how much the fund will pay out on a claim. According to the most recent notice posted by W.R. Grace and Co., the payment percentage is currently at 35 percent. It was raised from 26 percent in September 2019. This is higher than most other asbestos trust funds that are currently established. The procedures of the trust require the reconsideration of the payment percentage to occur no more than once every three years.
How to Claim Compensation From the W.R. Grace and Co. Fund
If you wish to determine whether you are eligible to pursue compensation from the W.R. Grace and Co. Fund, contact an attorney at Bailey & Glasser, LLP for a free consultation. We will listen to your story, conduct an investigation and let you know if we believe you are a qualified claimant for this asbestos trust. If so, we can help you take the steps to file a claim.
First, you will need to decide if you want to file an expedited review claim or individual review claim. Our lawyers can help you choose the right route based on your unique case. Then, you and your attorney will need to gather and submit asbestos exposure evidence, which may include your medical records and employment history. If you qualify for compensation from the trust, your lawyer will negotiate for an amount that is appropriate based on your diagnosis, long-term prognosis and other factors.
Contact an Asbestos Trust Fund Claims Attorney Today
For more information about the W.R. Grace and Co. Asbestos PI Trust Fund and how to seek financial compensation from this legal outlet, contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP to request a free case consultation. One of our asbestos attorneys will carefully review your situation and help you understand your legal options. Begin the claims process by calling (866) 871-7971. We accept cases all over the United States.