The material was cheap and fire-resistant but was also toxic, which led to thousands of illnesses and deaths from mesothelioma cancer and asbestosis.
Their asbestos-based products included cement used for piping, shingling, roofs, and sidings. They also utilized asbestos-laden asphalts, flooring tiles, waterproofing liquids, coating products, sealants, and adhesive liquids until the company closed in 1987.
By 1970, people who had become ill from the Flintkote Company’s products had started filing lawsuits. Their insurance companies settled and paid out hundreds of thousands of claims before the year 2000.
At that time, insurance companies decided to delay and withhold payment. In June 2007, the California Insurance Law and Regulation Reporter reported on the 2007 Californa case of The Flintkote Company, v. General Accident Assurance Co. of Canada, et al., noting that Flintkote sued two of its insurers for breach of contract for not paying out past claims and refusing to pay out future claims over asbestosis lawsuits. Flintkote claimed to have incurred great financial losses due to the insurance companies’ refusal to continue covering claims, which caused Flintkote to ultimately go bankrupt.
The Flintkote Asbestos Trust
The Flintkote Asbestos Trust was established in 2003 to pay out future claims against the company for asbestosis, pulmonary cancer, and mesothelioma. In 2004, during the bankruptcy filing, the Flintkote Co. told the courts they had paid out more than $600 million in legal settlements and still had more than 150,000 complaints pending in the courts.
Because asbestos-related disease often has a latency period of up to several decades, Flintkote knew that it would still likely incur many future claims over illnesses that happened due to exposure prior to the 1980s.
Flintkote’s asbestos-based products were utilized by various professions in residential sites and commercial sites. They could be found in chimney linings, floors, pipes, roofs, and boards. People who worked in constructing, repairing, remodeling, tearing down, or demolishing the areas in which these materials were utilized may have come into contact with the carcinogens long after the 1980s.
Although the materials were not sold after 1980, the carcinogenic materials still existed in other structures that eventually had to be torn apart and replaced when they were no longer up to code.