The Burns & Roe Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust was created in 2009 and has $172 million set aside to provide compensation for injured workers and their families. Payment Percentage: 32% and Average Settlement Amount: $60,000
Burns and Roe Enterprises, an engineering construction firm based in New Jersey, designed nuclear power plants and performed engineering work for the U.S. Army and the Department of Energy. The company said it never mined, milled or manufactured asbestos products, but worked on sites where asbestos-containing products were used.
Burns and Roe was founded in 1932 by Allan Burns, Ralph Roe and two other men who had worked together at Electric Management and Engineering Company. The men had hoped to provide high-quality engineering and design, but within a few years, Burns and two other men left the company. Roe was left to run the company by himself.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000 facing an estimated 13,500 asbestos-related claims. The trust, funded with $172 million, began accepting claims in 2009.
Anyone who worked in an energy-producing plant is at risk for exposure to asbestos-containing products linked to Burns & Roe. In addition there are other occupations that have an increased risk of exposure to Burns and Roe asbestos, including the following:
The trust named more than 350 sites where exposure to Burns and Roe asbestos may occur. The sites include power stations, military bases, shipyards and hospitals. Other sites include the following:
Today, asbestos products remain in some energy-producing facilities, continuing to put workers at risk.
Burns and Roe created a trust fund to assist asbestos victims. Like similar companies that have asbestos-linked liabilities, Burns and Roe was compelled by the bankruptcy court to create the trust.
The Burns and Roe trust pays claimants 32 percent of the settlement amounts to allow the funds to be distributed evenly among claimants. All other asbestos trust funds follow similar procedures.
The Burns and Roe trust handles all trust applications in the order they were received, also called a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis. The trust has established two paths to compensation, as follows:
Under an expedited review, claimants must meet the presumptive exposure and medical criteria to be eligible. Claimants are paid based on the disease schedule values. Most claimants may elect for an expedited review. The scheduled values are as follows:
|Asbestosis/pleural disease||Up to $5,000|
Claimants may elect to have an individual review for a larger settlement amount. The process takes a longer amount of time when compared to an expedited review. The following is the average values for asbestos-related claims:
Within three years of Burns and Roe opening, Roe had 20 engineering patents. The company’s first big client was the Lansing Board of Water and Electric Light Commission to build a new 25,000-kilowatt power plant. The power plant was later lauded as a “milepost by which technical progress in the industry may well be measured.”
In the following decades, the company added employees and expanded. The company paid a pivotal role in the World War II national defense efforts, including helping develop missile shelter door mechanisms and a missile launcher tower. During the 1960s, the company worked with big names including NASA, the U.S. Navy in Guantanamo Bay and the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. During the 1970s, the company assumed project-engineering roles for the Three Mile Island recovery efforts and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Saudi Arabia. In the 1980s and 1990s, Burns and Roe worked with the U.S. Department of Energy on various energy projects.
The company was named in its first asbestos-related lawsuit in 1984. In the six years that followed, about 150 asbestos claims were filed against Burns and Roe. By the late 1990s, the number of legal claims skyrocketed to about 12,000. By the time the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it had paid $1.9 million in claims. The reorganization plan allowed the company to reorganize while eliminating its debt and avoiding further legal action.
In 2014, Burns and Roe Enterprises was acquired by Power Engineers.
Plant workers were continually exposed to high-temperature liquids and vapors when producing electrical in power-generating facilities. Asbestos was used to protect against high heat, chemicals and fire. Burns and Roe said many of its governmental and commercial customers requested asbestos be used in power-generating facilities in the 1980s.
Burns and Roe officials said the company never manufactured asbestos-containing materials, but it used products containing the dangerous mineral to protect equipment from overheating.
In 2000, the company acknowledged it engineered and constructed facilities that contained asbestos, following with industry standards and client and regulatory guidelines.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to Burns and Roe asbestos, contact us today. We help asbestos victims determine where their exposure too place for the best possible trust fund settlement.
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