Kentile Flooring, founded in 1898, manufactured cork, vinyl and rubber flooring products that included as much as 25 percent asbestos. The products were advertised as superior flooring made with “sturdy asbestos fibers.”
Kentile flooring products, used in both residential and commercial applications, offered a wide range of decorative options. Homeowners like the company’s products because they could easily install them, eliminating the need for professional installation. In 1949, Kentile introduced asphalt tiles to its product line. In the proceeding years, the company continued producing new products, including vinyl sheet flooring. Many of its products contained asbestos.
The company, headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., was in business for nearly 100 years before it collapsed under the weight of asbestos litigation.
How was the Kentile Trust Formed?
When Kentile opened in New York, it quickly became a homeowner’s favorite brand of tile due to its ease of use and low cost. In its early advertisements, the company promoted its floors as easy, glowing and greaseproof. At one point the company had manufacturing plants in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois. The big money makers for the company were its commercial and institutional products.
Medical professionals began documenting the dangers relating to asbestos exposures since the 1930s. It wasn’t until the 1970s that U.S. health and safety regulators started issuing health warnings about asbestos exposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Clean Air Act that established national emissions standards, placing regulations on asbestos use in some products. The regulations impacted companies that sprayed, milled and disposed of asbestos products, including Kentile.
Kentile used asbestos in its products until the mid-1980s. When the company phased out all asbestos use, it struggled to keep its business intact.
With Kentile’s Chapter 11 plan, the company reorganized under the name Metex Manufacturing. In 2012, Metex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as well and faced about 5,000 asbestos-linked claims. The Metex trust began accepting claims in 2015 and pays 11.13 percent.
Kentile High Risk Occupations
Some of the many Kentile occupations that may have been exposed to asbestos include mixer operator, scrap tile loader, resin scale operator, asbestos weigher, and pigment scale operator.
In addition to the hundreds of Kentile employees nationwide who are at risk for asbestos-related disease due to exposure, many other occupations may have been exposed to dangerous Kentile products, including:
- Floor installers
- Tile Workers – Tile grinders, Tile helpers, Tile layers, Tile setters
Exposed to Asbestos
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Kentile Flooring Asbestos Containing Products
Kentile’s flooring products were widely used in industrial, residential and commercial applications. Some of its products contained up to 25 percent asbestos. The more popular products include:
- Kentile asphalt tiles
- Kentile vinyl asbestos tile
- Kencork flooring
- Kenrubber flooring
Anyone who worked in a Kentile factory or has been exposed to a Kentile flooring product may be eligible for compensation from the company’s asbestos trust fund. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.
Kentile Asbestos Lawsuits
When Kentile Floors filed for bankruptcy in 1992, they were facing over 20,000 personal asbestos claims. At the time of their second bankruptcy filing as Metex, Kentile faced over 6,000 asbestos
Beyond personal injury lawsuits, Kentile has been named in several mass torts and class action filings. Notably, Kentile was named in a $1.6 million verdict among other asbestos companies including Georgia-Pacific, Ford Motor Co, and ExxonMobil, where they were deemed responsible for 6% of the settlement.
Kentile Flooring and Asbestos Exposure
Kentile’s flooring was popular, in part, due to the asbestos used in its products. Asbestos made products such as flooring durable and resistant to damages from heat, fire and overuse.
In a 1979 review of the company’s Chicago plant, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found several air samples had levels of airborne asbestos exceed the established safety standards. Some 300 workers at the plant had the potential for exposure to asbestos.
Kentile Flooring Settlements and Payouts
Payment Percentage: 7.25%
The Kentile asbestos trust, operating under the Metex Asbestos PI Trust, functions much like other asbestos trusts. Anyone who makes a claim must provide proof of an asbestos-related disease and exposure to the product in question, among other things. The trust pays on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, meaning claims are processed in the order in which they are received.
The Kentile (Metex) trust reviews funding requests in one of two processes:
Kentile Flooring Expedited Review
The expedited review process is intended to provide claimants with quick access to funding. Claimants must meet the trust’s presumptive medical and exposure criteria. The review pays a set amount for asbestos-related disease, as follows:
|Asbestosis/Pleural Disease||$2,500 to $5,500|
|Other Asbestos Disease||$100|
Kentile Flooring Individual Review
When an individual review is submitted, trustees base payments on individual circumstances. That means the payment may be more or less than an expedited review can provide. Trustees also take in to consideration several factors including the claimant’s age, employment status and number of dependents when determining a final settlement.
On average, the Kentile individual review pays the following:
|Lung Cancer||$15,000 to $78,000|
Asbestos trust fund compensation is based on many factors, and the value of the payment you receive can decrease over time as the funding in the trust decreases and the trust distribution procedures change.
Based on a press release in April 2020, Metex Asbestos PI Trust conducted an analysis to determine if an adjustment to the payment percentage applicable to current and future claims is proper to ensure the trust can continue paying claims in as much of the same way as possible. The payment percentage was changed to 7.25% Payment percentages previously decreased from 11.3% to 8.3% in August 2019.
If you or a loved one may be eligible for a claim against the Metex Asbestos PI Trust, Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.
Find Out if you Qualify
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- United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York. Metex Manufacturing. Retrieved from http://www.hicilclerk.org/DocsDB/DisputedClaims.nsf/384BAFB38553B96785257B6C00487830/%24file/Exhibit%204-CIC%27s%20Position%20Re%20Metex%27s%20Bankruptcy.pdf?OpenElement
- Metex Asbestos PI Trust. Adjustment to Payment Percentage . Retrieved from http://metex.mfrclaims.com/Resources/Metex%20Notice%20Adjustment%20of%20Payment%20Percentage.pdf
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Kentile Flooring hazard assessment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/78-73-612.pdf