The United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) Asbestos Personal Injury Trust was created in 2014 to settle claims related to the company’s asbestos-containing paints, joint cement and waterproof compounds. The trust launched with more than $35.5 million in assets to assist UGL asbestos-exposure victims.

The Johns Manville Corp. was founded for the purpose of making asbestos products for insulation and construction uses. The company started in the late 1800s when H.W. Johns Manufacturing Company, which made fire-resistant roofing, merged with Manville Covering Company, which made insulation. Together, the two companies not only made asbestos roofing materials and insulation, but also branched out to produce asbestos packing materials, acoustical products and cement.

UGL Trust History

UGL opened its doors in 1932 as a manufacturer of roof coatings, roof and furnace cement, stove linings and patching plasters. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Pennsylvania-based company mass-produced and distributed more than 80 specialty products, including drain openers, furniture polishes and wall sizing. The UGL asbestos-containing products included its popular waterproofing compound DryLok. Today, DryLok (without asbestos) and Zar (clear polyurethane finish for wood) remain the company’s most popular products.

UGL products (without asbestos) are sold today in home improvement stores, hardware stores and lumberyards. The company also has plants in Nevada, Illinois and Mississippi. Currently, UGL has about 100 employees.

UGL began manufacturing asbestos joint compounds in 1954 and discontinued asbestos use in 1975. In court documents, the company said the total revenue for asbestos-containing joint compounds during the 21 years of sales was $965,000.

In 1983, the first asbestos-related lawsuit against UGL was filed. Between 1992 and 2000, the company was named in 124 asbestos-related lawsuits, mostly over non-malignant injuries.

In 2001, the company faced its first two mesothelioma claims. From 2002 to 2005, UGL faced six to 10 mesothelioma claims a year.

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UGL Financial Compensation

The trust was established with eight asbestos-related diseases. Of those, seven have liquidation values or settlement amounts.

Like other mesothelioma trusts, the UGL fund allows for expedited and individual reviews. The expedited review places less burden on the claimants because the review is based on distinct medical and exposure criteria. Once trustees verify the information, the claimants typically receive a fixed settlement amount. The trust has 90 days to complete the review and accept or reject the claim. For UGL, the settlement amounts are as follows:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma $200,000
Lung Cancer $21,000
Other Cancer $9,000
Severe Asbestosis $12,000
Asbestosis/Pleural Disease $1,500
Other Asbestos Disease $0

Claimants who seek a larger settlement than what the expedited review offers or whose expedited review was denied can opt for an individual analysis.

Requirements for Individual Review

For the individual review, trustees require more detailed information, including:

  • Evidence the injuries were caused by the company’s asbestos-containing products.
  • Proof the disease caused disruption in the family’s life.
  • Verification of all injuries (including X-rays, CT scans, pulmonary function testing results and standard and advanced laboratory testing results).

The trustees who evaluate the individual-review applications also take several personalize details into account:

  • Claimant’s age
  • Impact of disease on family
  • Level of disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Claimant’s employment status as a result of disease

The trust has 120 days to reject or approve the individual-review claim. If the claim is approved, trustees determine the settlement amount based on the following schedule of payments:

Disease Compensation
Mesothelioma (Level VIII) Maximum Value: $416,975
Lung Cancer 1 (Level VII) Maximum Value: $31,273
Lung Cancer 2 (Level VI) Maximum Value: $16,158

All UGL claims are subject to an 11% payment percentage. If a claimant with mesothelioma were awarded $200,000 in an expedited review settlement, the final distribution amount would be $11,000.

The UGL trust also provides settlements to individuals with secondary asbestos exposure (for close family members).

UGL Trust Payments

From 2015 (when the trust began paying claims) to 2018 (the most recent data available), 3,376 UGL claims have been submitted. Of those, 461 were submitted in 2018.

The following is a summary of the total UGL claims (since the trust began):

  • Other asbestos disease (Level I) – 0
  • Asbestosis/Pleural Disease (Level II) – 166
  • Asbestosis/Pleural Disease (Level III) – 52
  • Severe Asbestosis (Level IV) – 280
  • Other cancer (Level V) – 53
  • Lung Cancer 2 (Level VI) – 163
  • Lung Cancer 1 (Level VII) – 1,505
  • Mesothelioma (Level VIII) – 1,157

The following is a summary of the UGL claims in 2018 only:

  • Other asbestos disease (Level I) – 0
  • Asbestosis/Pleural Disease (Level II) – 5
  • Asbestosis/Pleural Disease (Level III) – 4
  • Severe Asbestosis (Level IV) – 4
  • Other cancer (Level V) – 4
  • Lung Cancer 2 (Level VI) – 27
  • Lung Cancer 1 (Level VII) – 116
  • Mesothelioma (Level VIII) – 301

Since the trust began, 436 claims have been approved and paid. Of those, the trust paid 120 claims totaling $2.9 million in 2018. As of the end of 2018, the trust has $25.3 million in equity.

How to File a UGL Claim

Filing a UGL claim is similar to filing claims against other asbestos trusts. The process can be confusing, especially for asbestos victims filing against multiple trusts. To make the process easier, many claimants retain an attorney who understands asbestos claims. Although the services of an attorney are not required, they help injured victims by making the process easier.

To file a claim, information that includes proof of exposure location and dates and witness statements are required. Once all the proper documentation is submitted, the claims are handled on a FIFO (first-in, first-out) basis.

Asbestos-trust attorneys help by providing clear and concise information regarding trust claims, explaining the financial and legal implications of the process. They help claimants gain access to the proper records, review information for accuracy and file documentation promptly.

Anyone who has been exposed to UGL asbestos-containing products and has developed asbestos-related diseases has the right to file an asbestos trust claim. Contact us today for a free consultation with an attorney.

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