Hundreds of thousands of people worked at Flexitallic throughout the hundred years the company produced its toxic products. The company faced a great deal of financial trouble over the years due to asbestosis claims and was subsequently bought out multiple times. They are currently known as The Flexitallic Group.
Harmful Products and Health Consequences
Although the EPA warned businesses in the 1970s that using asbestos-laden products was dangerous to anyone who came into contact with the dust or fibers, companies like Flexitallic continued to use the carcinogenic material in their gaskets without warning employees of the risks.
The company currently no longer makes its gaskets with carcinogenic products, but thousands of people came into contact with the old gaskets over the years. The people who manufactured and installed the gaskets were exposed to potentially deadly toxins, as were the workers who uninstalled the gaskets during maintenance and reconstruction of old machinery that contained Flexitallic products.
None of these workers were warned about the dangers associated with their jobs.
Lawsuits, Bankruptcy, and an Asbestos Trust
The company faced hundreds of thousands of asbestosis-related illness claims and lawsuits. One lawsuit filed against the company resulted in a $35 million verdict for more than twenty refinery workers who developed mesothelioma and other types of cancer from removing and working on the company’s gaskets.
Drowning in debt from legal troubles, Flexitallic Gasket Company was forced to file bankruptcy in the early 2000s after several corporate buyouts by other companies that also manufactured and produced asbestosis-inducing goods. When Flexitallic got out of bankruptcy, they began paying victims through a trust fund ordered by the bankruptcy court. The multi-million dollar trust fund was formed exclusively to pay off personal injury claimants who suffered from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other cancers as a result of working with Flexitallic gaskets. The trust began issuing payouts to victims in 2010.
The Future of Flexitallic Gasket Company
Because mesothelioma and asbestosis can take many years to show up in chest x-rays or otherwise produce severe symptoms, many of these workers have no idea that their ailments years later are linked to the work they did decades ago.