Their business has been known as Raytech, Raybestos Manhattan, and Raymark Industries. Raymark’s use of asbestos in brakes, which was the industry standard a hundred years ago, ultimately caused illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
While this fireproof material was affordable and durable, its carcinogenic properties eventually cost companies like Raybestos a fortune in litigation and cost many workers their lives.
Harmful Products and Health Consequences
The dangers of asbestosis-inducing materials like brakes became more commonly known after World War II when so many people who worked around the dangerous substance fell ill.
However, many business owners felt it was bad for business to cut out a cost-effective material like asbestos insulation and replace it with what they felt was an inferior product that would be less likely to stand up to the kinds of heat used in industrial machinery and motor vehicles.
Slowly, regulations over the years started limiting the amount of asbestos dust that could legally circulate in the workplace. Some companies began giving chest x-rays to employees to make sure their workers had not developed asbestos-related disease. What they were not aware of at this time is asbestos-related disease has an average latency period of 10 to 40 years and that even a small amount of exposure can lead to disease decades later.
The federal government began more closely regulating the use of asbestos in the 1970s after so many people who worked around the toxic mineral were dying from severe asbestosis and cancer, which prompted companies like Raybestos Manhattan to finally phase out the mineral from production.
Bankruptcy and Raytech Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust
In the 1980s, Raybestos was facing an onslaught of litigation filed by people who had become sick or whose family members had died from working with or around their brakes. It changed its name to Raymark in 1982 to try to distance itself from the public’s negative perception of asbestos. By 1989, Raymark went bankrupt under the financial strain of verdicts and settlements for mesothelioma and asbestosis cases.