In the 1960s, they bought out roofing manufacturer Ruberoid to expand into the roofing market. By that time, GAF had a history of being one of the biggest asbestos suppliers in the state of Virginia, where they controlled a large mine until the mid-1970s.
Harmful Products and Health Consequences
The mine employed many people and was considered to be a boon to the community for that reason, but the miners were unaware that they were working with a carcinogenic mineral that had the potential to cause mesothelioma cancer. Factory workers and construction contractors frequently fell ill from asbestos exposure because many of GAF’s products made between the 1920s and the early 1980s were asbestos-laden.
Workers had no way of knowing they could become ill from their work because companies went to great measures to withhold the risks in an attempt to avoid liability.
People diagnosed with mesothelioma face steep medical expenses and a poor prognosis. Their relatives sometimes also became ill due to secondhand exposure, which happened when miners came home caked in toxic dust and fibers that exposed their families to illness.
Lawsuits and Bankruptcy
By 1990, GAF Corporation was quickly finding out how many people had grounds to sue them over their neglect to warn miners, industrial consumers, and manufacturing workers of the dangers of their asbestos-laden product line. People who worked in the GAF mines decades earlier were being diagnosed with mesothelioma in record numbers, and their illnesses burdened their financial lives and physical health.
Tens of thousands of people who had become ill and their surviving family members began to sue GAF more and more frequently, which left GAF settling half a million claims by 2000. GAF ended up seeking protection in bankruptcy court in 2001.
G-I Holdings Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust
Since it takes an average of 20 – 40 years to develop mesothelioma, it is likely that more people will fall ill at the fault of GAF Corporation. The latency period for mesothelioma can take many decades, which means that people who worked in the mines and their family members are still at risk, even though the mines have not been operating since before 1980.
Contract workers and remodelers who demolished or repaired structures originally made with the asbestos-filled cement, roofs, pipes, and so on might have come in to contact with the carcinogens years after GAF stopped selling asbestos-laden products. Their personal injury claims may be covered by GAF’s asbestos trust.1