Looking to see if you qualify for compensation?

Find Out Now

By the early 2000s, Porter Hayden faced more than 70,000 bodily injury lawsuits over its asbestos use. Even though Porter Hayden was considered a distributor rather than a manufacturer of asbestos-containing materials, it was still responsible for asbestos exposure.

History of Porter Hayden Company

The Porter Hayden Company formed in 1966 as a result of a merger between H.W. Porter Company and Reid-Hayden Inc. Porter Hayden sold and installed insulation with asbestos to businesses and industrial locations. The company primarily distributed and installed Johns-Manville asbestos-containing products. Through the 1980s (and possibly into the 1990s), Porter Hayden employees continued to work with asbestos-containing materials.

In March 2002, Porter Hayden filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors. The Porter Hayden Bodily Injury Trust launched in 2007 with $40 million. The trust currently operates on a payment percentage of 1.8%.

Exposed to Asbestos

See if you qualify for compensation from the Porter Hayden Bodily Injury Trust

Get Help Now

Porter Hayden Products Containing Asbestos

The merger of the New Jersey-based H.W. Porter and the Maryland-based Reid Hayden formed Porter Hayden, which distributed and sold asbestos-containing insulation to chemical, steel and manufacturing plants. The company’s asbestos-containing products were distributed in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Some of the commonly used asbestos-containing products from Porter Hayden include:

  • Insulated prefabricated conduit
  • Firebrick
  • Wallboard
  • Putty
  • Block insulation
  • Caulk
  • Insulating cement

Occupational Asbestos Exposure

The Porter Hayden Settlement Trust determined much of its asbestos-containing materials were delivered and installed at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland.

Other locations that are known to have Porter Hayden asbestos-containing products include:

  • Duke Power Company plants, North Carolina
  • Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia
  • Proctor & Gamble, Maryland
  • Morgan State College, Maryland
  • Radford Army Arsenal, Virginia

Additional Porter Hayden asbestos sites are located in

  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

The company determined that people working in specific occupations are more likely to be exposed to products distributed by Porter Hayden:

  • Power plant workers
  • Metalworkers
  • Tobacco factory workers
  • Paper mill workers
  • Brewery workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Military veterans (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard)
  • Oil refinery workers
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Distillery worker

Secondary Asbestos Exposure

When individuals are exposed to asbestos while working, microscopic fibers attach to their hair and clothing. Workers who wear protective clothing, such as coveralls or other full-body garments, and headgear are shielded from asbestos fibers. Porter Hayden, like other companies of the time, did not provide its employees with protective gear. Without safeguards, employees brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing and exposed their family members to the carcinogen.

Second-hand asbestos exposure, also called paraoccupational or take-home exposure, is common among women and children. The most common ways family members were exposed was through contact (hugs), laundry and furniture.


Asbestos Litigation vs. Porter Hayden

Beginning in August 1976, injured people started filing lawsuits against Porter Hayden for asbestos exposure. Even though the company did not manufacture asbestos-containing products, Porter Hayden is responsible for putting individuals at risk.

In the early years of litigation against the company, Porter Hayden successfully defended against asbestos claims in court. However, the company’s success ended. The company has faced thousands of lawsuits. Porter Hayden paid millions in jury awards. For example, in 1992, a jury awarded $11.2 million to a case with three asbestos victims.


Litigation Against Insurance Providers

At the same time, Porter Hayden brought legal action against its insurance providers when they refused to cover asbestos claims. In one of the legal proceedings, Porter Hayden and insurer Commercial Union argued for years in court while claims went unpaid. In 2014, after 14 years of legal wrangling, Porter Hayden reached a $15 million settlement agreement with its insurers, including Commercial Union.


Porter Hayden Settlement Payouts

When the Porter Hayden bodily injury trust was created, the trustees established five disease levels and corresponding settlement values:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level V) $350,000
Lung Cancer (Level IV) $40,000
Other Cancer (Level III) $11,500
Disabling Severe Asbestosis (Level II) $40,000
Bilateral Non-Malignant Asbestos Disease (Level I) $8,750

The trust said the average value for claims is as follows:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level V) $400,000
Lung Cancer (Level IV) $45,000
Other Cancer (Level III) $13,000
Disabling Severe Asbestosis (Level II) $45,000
Bilateral Non-Malignant Asbestos Disease (Level I) $9,500

The maximum value for a Porter Hayden claim is as follows:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level V) $750,000
Lung Cancer (Level IV) $60,000
Other Cancer (Level III) $17,000
Disabling Severe Asbestosis (Level II) $60,000
Bilateral Non-Malignant Asbestos Disease (Level I) $14,000

All trust payments are subject to a payment percentage, which ensures there will be enough funds for all claimants. At a 1.8% payment percentage, a claimant with an approved $750,000 mesothelioma claim would receive $13,500.

The trust also established medical exposure criteria for claimants:

  • Mesothelioma (Level V)

    • A diagnosis of mesothelioma by a physician or pathologist with evidence that includes x-rays, CT scans, pulmonary function tests, tissue samples and laboratory tests.
    • Credible evidence of Porter Hayden asbestos exposure (or Maryland exposure to Johns-Manville asbestos pipe covering, block or cement) between 1924 and 1989.
  • Lung Cancer (Level IV)

    • A diagnosis of primary lung cancer
    • Evidence of exposure to six months of occupational exposure to Porter Hayden asbestos-containing products from 1924 to 1989.
    • Medical documentation that supports asbestos exposure as a factor in the lung cancer.
  • Other Cancer (Level III)

    • A diagnosis of primary colorectal, laryngeal, esophageal, pharyngeal or stomach cancer plus evidence of a non-malignant asbestos-related disease.
    • Evidence of exposure to at least six months of Porter Hayden asbestos-containing products from 1924 to 1989.
    • Evidence of significant occupational exposure.
    • Medical documentation that supports asbestos exposure as a factor in the cancer in question.
  • Disabling Severe Asbestosis (Level II)

    • A diagnosis of severe asbestosis with evidence of acute lung damage per a lung function test, CT scan or pathologic evidence of asbestos-related disease damage.
    • Evidence of exposure to at least six months of Porter Hayden asbestos-containing products from 1924 to 1989.
    • Evidence of significant occupational exposure.
    • Medical documentation that supports asbestos exposure as a factor in the pulmonary disease in question.
  • Bilateral Non-Malignant Asbestos Disease (Level I)

    • A diagnosis of a non-malignant bilateral asbestos disease per a physician’s report with evidence of bilateral pleural plaques, bilateral pleural thickening or bilateral pleural calcification.
    • Evidence of exposure to at least six months of Porter Hayden asbestos-containing products from 1924 to 1989.
    • Evidence of significant occupational exposure.
    • Medical documentation that supports asbestos exposure as a factor in the pulmonary disease in question.

The Porter Hayden settlement trust also allows for claims that help specific complications:

Extraordinary claims

Claimants are eligible for an extraordinary claim if they meet the following conditions:

  • The asbestos exposure occurred primarily as a result of working around or with products sold, distributed, installed or marketed by Porter Hayden.
  • Porter Hayden products were responsible for at least 75% of the asbestos exposure.
  • Claimants have little chance of a financial settlement from other trusts.

Trustees review extraordinary claims based on an individual review. Claimants might be eligible for a settlement award of five times the scheduled value of the disease level.

Exigent claims

Claimants who meet the medical exposure criteria for disease level II through V are eligible for an exigent claim if they meet the following criteria:

  • The claimant has immediate financial needs.
  • There is a direct connection between the claimant’s asbestos-related disease and the dire financial need.

Secondary exposure claims

Family members of claimants who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease can file for an individual review based on the following:

  • The claimant must prove the occupationally exposed person would have met the trust settlement requirements for one of the five disease levels.
  • The claimants must provide medical evidence they are suffering from one of the five Porter Hayden disease levels.

In all cases, claimants must provide evidence of exposure to Porter Hayden-distributed asbestos-containing products. “Meaningful and credible” evidence identified by the trust may include:

  • A sworn statement or affidavit by the claimant.
  • If the claimant is deceased, a co-worker or family member can submit a declaration or affidavit.
  • A worksite list where asbestos exposure took place.

Find Out if you Qualify

Fill out our quick form and see if you qualify for trust fund compensation

Check Now

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.

Learn More

Sources