Their carcinogenic product line was used in many industries, leaving many manufacturing workers and construction contractors vulnerable to diseases like asbestosis, pulmonary cancer, and mesothelioma.
Harmful Products and Health Consequences
Pacor made pipe coverings laden with asbestos fibers, many of which were implemented in Navy ships during the Second World War. People who worked with these products were forced to breathe in the dust and fibers, which lodged in their lungs and could later develop into mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Asbestosis showed up within a decade or two in some people, but mesothelioma often did not show up until 20 to 40 years later. Because the military is absolved of liability in cases of this nature, veterans had to resort to suing manufacturers and distributors of the asbestos-laden products that caused their cancers. Shipyard workers and veterans frequently were exposed to various types of asbestos-insulation, produced by numerous companies, which resulted in many of them having to sue multiple companies to pay for their claims.
After Pacor’s bankruptcy, many of these workers had to resort to filing claims through the Pacor Settlement Trust to be compensated for their ailments.
Bankruptcy and Pacor Settlement Trust
By the 1980s, Pacor was drowning in debt from asbestos-related cancer lawsuits. They sought bankruptcy in 1986 to solve the large number of verdicts and settlements they otherwise would have faced in the coming decades. By 1989, Pacor Incorporated had established a two billion dollar trust fund through the bankruptcy court to pay off claims for personal injuries caused by Pacor’s asbestosis-inducing products.
Although Pacor eventually stopped utilizing asbestos-based insulation once federal regulations banned the use of these carcinogenic materials, people continued to come into contact with the hazardous fibers for many more years.
People who had to disassemble, repair, or replace the out-of-code insulation, old or broken pipes, or other machinery that utilized Pacor’s insulation were subsequently exposed to asbestosis-inducing dust and fibers. People who served in the military and worked in these industries were not informed of the potentially fatal health hazards of their jobs and frequently did not have the opportunity to protect themselves.
At times, people also brought home the carcinogenic fibers and dust to their families without knowing they were putting their loved ones’ lives in danger. Wives who washed their husbands’ uniforms or children who sat on furniture covered in toxic dust and fibers occasionally developed secondhand mesothelioma without ever having worked in an asbestosis-inducing industry themselves.1