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In 1978, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned asbestos-containing joint compounds, including Bondex brands. Instead of immediately removing its products from the market, Bondex sought an extension to the deadline for recall. The company’s president, Julius Nemeth, argued asbestos products had been used for centuries and were not an imminent hazard, adding the product recall would have disastrous financial implications on Bondex.

In 2010, Bondex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid a growing wave of asbestos-related litigation. The Bondex Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, funded with $450 million, began processing claims in 2016.

How was the Bondex Trust Formed?

The first Bondex mesothelioma cases were filed in 1980. For nearly 20 years, the number of claimants remained relatively low so the company handled the legal claims in-house, mostly by settling the cases in batches. The company said the number of claims increased sharply in 2000 when other asbestos companies began filing bankruptcy. The court later refuted the claim, finding instead that more Bondex asbestos-containing products were being identified.

Bondex, a subsidiary of Republic Powdered Metals (later known as RPM International), filed for bankruptcy protection while RPM was trying to resolve the company’s asbestos claims. Bondex faced more than 10,000 asbestos-related claims.

Bondex, which was initially owned by Reardon, originally said since its products contained only chrysotile asbestos it was less likely than other forms of asbestos to cause mesothelioma and other lung diseases. The statement was later disproved.

The Bondex trust currently pays 22 percent on claims. Similar to other asbestos trusts, Bondex only pays the claimants a percentage of funds requested to ensure there is enough funding for future claims.

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Bondex Asbestos Products

Bondex used asbestos in its products because of its heat, fire and chemical resistance and the ability to increase tensile strength in mixtures. Despite warning from environmental health officials, Bondex tried to sell the product after it was recalled.
Additionally Bondex International asbestos products were sold under the following alternate brand names: Reardon, Trax, Dramex, Wards (sold at Montgomery Ward), and Penncraft (sold at J.C.Penney).

Some of the popular Bondex products included the following:

  • Joint and Topping Cements: Bondex 100-A, 200-B, 500-C, and SX All-Purpose Joint Cement, Bondex Trax Joint Cement, Bondex Reardon’s SX Joint Cement, Bondex Hi & Dri Joint Cements and Topping Cements
  • Dramex Interior Finish: Dramex Texture Paint, Trax Texture Paint, Ward’s Texture, Dramex Spanish Texturing Paint, Penncraft Texture Paint, Metro Interior Finish, Reardon’s Bondex Waterproof Cement Paint
  • Bondex Water Putty: Reardon’s Water Putty, Reardon’s Wood Putty, Penncraft Water Putty, Ward’s Wood Putty
  • Roofing: Bondex Permaroof, Bondex Bondek Roof Cement, Bondex Bondek Roof Coating, Bondex Perma-Plastic, Alumanation 301, Alumanation 350, Bondex Heavy Duty, Bondex Bondek Black Mastic
  • Patching: Bondex Handy-Patch All Purpose Patcher, Bondex Plaster of Paris, Reardon Resurfo

Bondex Asbestos Exposure

There are two general forms of sealants, patching plasters, finishing compounds and joint compounds: one that uses water soluble glue as a binder and sets by evaporation and the other that comes in a powder form and uses water to form a paste. The dry-powder form was used in about 80 percent of the products on the market in 1980, a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found. Bondex products came in both forms, but the dry powder form was generally more popular.

Dry powder compounds were usually packaged in large paper bags that were slit open with a knife and the powder dumped into a container. After water is added, the compound is mixed with an electric drill mixer. The putty, or mud, is applied as necessary and, once dried, is sanded. Dust from the dry mud floats in the air and settles on the ground. The EPA said the release of asbestos from the process is “relatively high.” The most dangerous part of the process is sanding due to the high concentration of asbestos exposure.

Bondex International Occupational Asbestos Exposure

Bondex was popular with do-it-yourselfers and professionals because it had a wide variety of uses and was easy to handle. Homeowners who did repairs using Bondex have an increased risk of asbestos exposure, as do their family members.

Legal experts estimate about 10 million bags of Bondex asbestos-containing joint compound was sold between 1960 and 1978 in the contiguous United States. An estimated 40 million people were exposed, court records show.

The following occupations are at risk for developing Bondex asbestos cancer:

  • Construction worker
  • Tapers
  • Drywall hanger
  • Handymen
  • Painters
  • Carpenters
  • General Laborers

Bondex Settlements and Payments

Asbestos bankruptcy trusts help families that have suffered after companies blatantly ignored repeated warnings about the dangers. Funds help pay for medical and living expenses and can help alleviate financial stress.

Asbestos victims who decide to make a claim on the Bondex trust have two choices: expedited review or individual review. There are many benefits to both, but the expedited review offers faster access to cash.

Bondex Expedited Review

Those who successfully undergo expedited reviews are offered a particular compensation value if they provide sufficient evidence of their illness based on the Medical and Exposure Criteria for Qualification as outlined in the trust. The following is the schedule of payments for Bondex expedited reviews for each listed medical condition:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level VIII) $80,000
Lung Cancer I (Level VII) $33,000
Lung Cancer II (Level VI) None
Other Cancer (Level V) $6,667
Severe Asbestosis (Level IV) $16,667
Asbestosis/ Pleural Disease (Level III) $2,500
Asbestosis/ Pleural Disease (Level II) $800
Other Asbestos Disease (Level I Cash Discount Payment) $70

Bondex Individual Case Review

Additionally, claimants have the option to undergo individual case review, during which their claim is evaluated and adjusted based on valuation factors such as age, where they encountered the asbestos-containing product, the industry of exposure, and specific damages outside the medical/exposure criteria for their disease level.

The individual review outcome varies, but the stated average value of individual review is as follows:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level VIII) $125,000
Lung Cancer I (Level VII) $50,000
Lung Cancer II (Level VI) $9,250
Other Cancer (Level V) $10,000
Severe Asbestosis (Level IV) $25,000
Asbestosis/ Pleural Disease (Level III) N/A
Asbestosis/ Pleural Disease (Level II)  N/A
Other Asbestos Disease (Level I Cash Discount Payment)  N/A

How to File a Bondex Personal Injury Claim

Those who may have been exposed to asbestos through interactions with Bondex products can apply for an asbestos claim online or through paper claim submissions.

Major reasons legal counsel is often sought in these situations include knowledge of the process, expertise in reviewing and submitting the forms, and to help guide the claimant through the process with empathy and expertise to help them get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

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Written and legally reviewed by Daniel Wasserberg

Attorney and On-Site Legal Advocate

Daniel Wasserberg was a New York metropolitan area “Super Lawyer Rising Star” from 2013 to 2018 (attorneys under age 40), and a Super Lawyer in 2019. In 2017, Daniel was named a “Top 100 Civil Litigator” by the National Trial Lawyers organization. This recognition is rarely awarded to attorneys under the age of 40. Daniel is proud to call himself a Trial Lawyer, and is often asked to speak at gatherings of the nation’s leading attorneys, from both sides of the bar.

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