Working with these products, which were sold between the 1960s and 1980s, resulted in illness for various people from contractors to consumers. Most people who encountered these asbestos-laden products had no idea that they would become ill from doing their jobs or, in some cases, die as a result of doing something as simple as remodeling a family home.1
By the 2000s, Kelly-Moore was defending lawsuits left and right, as well as filing its own lawsuits to try to avoid becoming bankrupt over asbestos litigation. The company was able to successfully defend some lawsuits but was ordered to pay substantial judgments in others. In 2001, the New York Times reported that Kelly Moore Paint Co. was responsible for paying one Texas resident $55.5 million.
The 47-year-old former contractor was diagnosed with lung disease due to asbestos exposure. He worked with a Kelly Moore asbestos-laden joint compound during the 1970s, which led to his illness.2
In 2004, a Los Angeles court ruled in favor of the Kelly-Moore Paint Company for an asbestos-related lung cancer lawsuit brought against the business by an electrician who claimed the joint compound made by the company between 1960 and 1978 caused his disease. This plaintiff lost the $9 million lawsuit because it could not be adequately proven that the company was responsible for negligence.
That same year, the Los Angeles Times reported that Kelly-Moore lost a lawsuit against Union Carbide, in which the plaintiff alleged that the company failed to warn Kelly-Moore about the hazardous nature of the asbestos sold to the company as a paint-thickening agent between 1963-1985. Kelly filed the $1.5 billion lawsuit against Union Carbide in hopes to offset its own liability for harming people who were exposed to its product, which turned out to be carcinogenic. Earlier that week, a Los Angeles court had found Kelly-Moore responsible for paying 14 percent of a $36 million award to a Washington resident who had been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
That plaintiff had used Kelly’s Paco Quik-Set joint compound to remodel his father’s home in the 1970s, a product that was later linked to causing his cancer.3