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Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust

The Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust was funded with $600 million and began processing claims in 2007. As of December 2019, total trust assets were $466,303,509. Thorpe used and worked with asbestos-containing insulation products from 1948 to 1972. By the early 1970s, the company faced nearly 12,000 lawsuits as a result of its misuse of asbestos.

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The Thorpe Insulation Co. started as a family-owned business in 1906 following an earthquake that devastated the San Francisco area. The company focused on distributing, installing and removing asbestos-containing refractory materials and insulation. The company’s work focused on industrial sites where high-heat machinery was used, including shipyards, power plants and oil refineries. Asbestos was a crucial ingredient in Thorpe’s refractory materials.

Thorpe ceased operations in 2004 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Thorpe asbestos trust was court-ordered to put funding aside to help asbestos victims and their families. The Thorpe trust also covers the liabilities for its subsidiary Pacific Insulation Co.

How was the Thorpe Insulation Trust Formed?

Through the 1970s, the company used asbestos in many of its insulation products. Like other companies of the time, asbestos was considered to be the perfect additive to make products heat-, fire- and chemical-resistant.

Through the early years of the litigation and the creation of the trust, Robert and Linda Fults owned the company. The couple also owned Pacific Insulation Company, which is part of the trust. By the 1980s, Thorpe, and Pacific by extension, were facing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. The company did a majority of its work in California.

In filing its bankruptcy documentation, the Thorpe Insulation Trust established has no affiliations with similarly named companies and trusts including the following:

  • J.T. Thorpe Company Successor Trust, a Texas-based bankruptcy trust
  • Thorpe Corporation, a Texas-based refractory company
  • J.T. Thorpe & Sons, a northern-California refractory company
  • J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust, a Nevada-based bankruptcy trust

The Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust shares a Nevada-based administrative and claims processing service with the Western Asbestos Settlement Trust, the J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust, and the Plant Asbestos Settlement Trust. The processing service handles all of the claims for the four funds.

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Thorpe Insulation High-Risk Occupations

The Thorpe Insulation Trust lists more than 120 occupations that are at risk for asbestos exposure. Workers who came into contact with Thorpe Insulation asbestos may be eligible for compensation. The company’s products were used in a variety of industrial settings.

Many of the at-risk occupations are in fields that include asbestos manufacturing, distribution and installation. Other at-risk occupations include shipyard and railroad workers. Additional professions include:

  • Boiler operator
  • Cable puller
  • Insulation helper
  • Insulation machinist
  • Lagging foreman
  • Refractory insulator
  • Spray insulator
  • Plant worker
  • Hopper loader
  • Laborer
  • Electrician
  • Machinist
  • Sandblaster
  • Millwright

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Thorpe Insulation Jobsites

Thorpe insulation was used on many job sites, including commercial buildings, hospitals, schools and shipyards. Some of the locations in California include:

  • Disneyland
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
  • Lockheed Corp.
  • NBC Studios
  • Pabst Brewery
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Reynolds Aluminum
  • San Diego Naval Shipyard
  • Technicolor Studios
  • Beverly Hills Hotel

How To File A Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust Claim

Anyone exposed to Thorpe insulation products may be eligible for a financial settlement from the company’s bankruptcy trust. Filing a claim can be a confusing process, so legal expertise is helpful for success.

The Thorpe trust and the Pacific Insulation Company trust manages its claims in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, meaning the requests are handled in the order they are received.

Claims that do not meet the presumptive medical/exposure criteria must undergo an individual review. In general, claimants must follow the trust’s procedure for a settlement, as follows:

  • Either independently or with an attorney’s assistance, claimants compile the information needed to file a financial request. Documents include payroll reports, witness statements, medical records, etc.
  • Once the trust receives the documents, trustees look over the information to decide how to go forward. The trustee can conclude that more information is needed for the claim, the claim is authentic or the claim is denied. When a request is denied, the claimant has the right to provide updated information and file a new application.
  • When a claim is accepted, the trustee uses the matrix of payment amounts to determine the settlement.
  • The claimant can receive the payment via bank deposit or paper check.

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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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