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The Shook & Fletcher Asbestos Settlement Trust was created in 2002 and has $109 million set aside to compensate injured workers and their families. Payment Percentage: 76% Average Settlement Amount: $22,000

Shook & Fletcher began operations in 1901 in Birmingham, Ala., as a coal, brick and iron products manufacturer and launched its insulation-manufacturing division in 1949. The company remains one of the biggest producers of industrial insulation in the southeastern United States.

Shook & Fletcher used asbestos in its insulation products until the 1970s, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed severe restrictions on asbestos. Even though the company eventually replaced the asbestos in its products with other materials, Shook & Fletcher insulation remains in businesses nationwide.

The company, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, struggling under the enormous weight of asbestos litigation. Despite its use of asbestos for decades after the dangers were known, the company operates seven manufacturing sites and distribution facilities in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

How was the Shook & Fletcher Trust Formed?

The legal action against the insulation company began in the 1970s when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration classified asbestos as a health hazard. In the 25 years before the company filed for bankruptcy, it paid out about $40 million in claims. By 2002, Shook & Fletcher faced more than 80,000 asbestos-related legal claims. That same year, the company reported annual earnings as $22 million.

In one of the claims, a woman whose husband died after decades of asbestos exposure won an $8.4 million verdict. The man was an insulator and had worked for various companies, including Shook & Fletcher.

When the Shook & Fletcher trust was established, it paid 100 percent of approved claim values, which is much higher than other trusts. Over the years, the value was lower. In 2017, trustees lowered the payment to 76 percent, which still remains higher than other trusts.

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How Did Shook & Fletcher Expose Workers to Asbestos?

Asbestos was used in insulation and as an insulator dating back centuries. With the start of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, its use took on a modern approach. It was widely used due to its heat, chemical and fire resistance and the ability to increase the tensile strength products it was mixed into.

Shook & Fletcher used asbestos in its products to protect against temperature extremes. Since asbestos fibers are lightweight, they are easily mixed with other materials.

Shook & Fletcher employees, installers and their families were regularly exposed to asbestos. Anyone who worked at or near Shook & Fletcher plants are at risk for asbestos-related diseases.

Shook & Fletcher High Risk Occupations

More than three dozen manufacturing companies helped Shook & Fletcher make its products. These companies, including Owens Corning Fiberglass and Dow Chemical Company, also hold some liability in the asbestos products. Employees at any of the partner companies are also responsible for Shook & Fletcher asbestos exposure.

In residential and commercial uses, insulation is not only used in walls. It is used around high-heat producing machinery, such as oil burners, boilers, electrical wires and pipes.

What occupations would have come into contact with Shook & Fletcher products that contained asbestos?

  • Insulator
  • Pipefitter
  • General contractors
  • Laborers
  • Construction workers
  • Industrial workers

Shook & Fletcher Settlements and Payments

Anyone who has developed an asbestos-related disease after exposure to Shook & Fletcher products has the right to make a claim on the trust. Claimants have two choices for a settlement: An expedited review, which pays an established amount based on the extent of disease or an individual review that pays amounts based on individual disease circumstances.

Claimants who opt for expedited reviews receive their funds faster because the reviews are easier to process. This is ideal for asbestos victims and family members who need immediate access to funds.

The Shook & Fletcher trust is unusual in that it funds claimants based on the type of disease and the location of exposure. Many other asbestos trust funds rely only on the type of disease.

The following is a schedule of values, also called a matrix value, for Shook & Fletcher expedited-review claims for a mesothelioma diagnosis in each exposure state:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia) $26,209.48
Mesothelioma (Louisiana) $11,913.40
Mesothelioma (Texas) $11,913.40

The following is a matrix value, for Shook & Fletcher expedited-review claims for a lung cancer diagnosis in each exposure state:

Disease Compensation
Lung Cancer (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia) $7,148.00
Lung Cancer (Louisiana) $3,216.32
Lung Cancer (Texas) $2,144.41

Claimants who opt for individual reviews often receive higher settlement awards, but the review takes longer because it requires more time and effort by the trust investigators. Overall, many asbestos-exposure victims make claims on several trusts because exposure occurs through a number of sources.

All claimants must submit medical and exposure evidence for any successful claim.

Shook & Fletcher Asbestos Containing Products

The main product line for Shook & Fletcher was insulation that came in a variety of shapes and forms. In addition, the company’s product lines included the following:

  • Fibrous glass cloth
  • Coatings
  • Banding seals
  • Tapes
  • Acoustical insulation
  • Thermal insulation
  • Ceramic fiber

Shook & Fletcher was also known as a distributor and installer of asbestos-containing products.

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