They are currently based in Chicago and have been around for more than 100 years. They have also been involved in a myriad of litigation over illnesses allegedly caused by their products.
Harmful Products and Health Consequences
Mesothelioma can result from exposure when asbestos particles are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs. These fibers remain embedded in the lung lining, slowly causing damage that leads to disease, often 10 to 40 years later. Working conditions prior to the 1970s did not include proper safety procedures to prevent workers from becoming ill.
People who worked around these particles, which were once thought to be safe prior to the end of World War II, had no way of knowing that their jobs or military service was putting them at risk of developing a deadly disease. Many people came home from work with their skin and uniforms covered with the fibers, which unfortunately transferred the toxins to unsuspecting family members.1
According to a report by the Cook County Record in 2015, JCI has been listed as a defendant in more than 75,000 asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits.2 Although some lawsuits have resulted in impressive verdicts, other litigants have not been successful due to the inability to prove that JCI’s products specifically were to blame. Because many cases have involved veterans who went on to work for various other asbestos product-producing companies, it is difficult to pinpoint decades later which company caused the asbestos exposure that led to disease. Moreover, the military is protected from liability.
Some lawsuits that named JCI as a defendant resulted in financial victories for the plaintiffs, many of whom were facing deadly ailments by the time they made their way to court. In 2014, The Mercury News reported that a California court ordered JCI to pay $70 million to a Navy machinist who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013 after working with asbestosis-inducing products supplied to the military by JCI.3
In 2017, The Oregonian reports that a Portland court ruled in the favor of a Navy veteran and pipe-fitter who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after working with John Crane’s asbestos-laden packing material and gaskets from the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s.4
JCI has also initiated its fair share of litigation regarding asbestos claims. In 2016, John Crane filed lawsuits against a few law firms alleging that those firms engaged in a racketeering scheme that exaggerated the amount of asbestos-related diseases their clients suffered at the hands of JCI products. JCI alleged that other manufacturers who went bankrupt should have shouldered the responsibilities for those claims.