W. R. Grace Asbestos Trust
Created in response to some 130,000 asbestos injury claims, the W.R. Grace Asbestos Trust will be funded with more than $1.8 billion. The trust, established after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001, ensures claimants will be compensated for asbestos-related injuries sustained as a result of the company’s negligence.
From 1963 to 1990, W.R. Grace & Co. owned and operated one of the biggest vermiculite mines in the United States. The mine, located in Libby, Montana, was contaminated with asbestos. The mine produced up to 200,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite a year that was used in a variety of construction projects and applications.
Scores of people – including local residents, mineworkers, construction workers and homeowners nationwide – have been exposed to Grace products containing asbestos. About a quarter-million people filed lawsuits by the time the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001.
Scores of workers nationwide, in a variety of occupations, have been impacted by asbestos exposure from Grace products. Some people worked at the Grace mines, while others used Grace products for their work. The following occupations are most likely to have asbestos exposure from Grace:
- Construction Worker
- Insulation Installers
- Railroad Workers
Why Was the Trust Established?
Established in 2008 under a bankruptcy court order, the Grace bankruptcy trust will be fully funded with $1.8 billion by 2034. With this, the company established a schedule of financial liability for eight asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma. If asbestos exposure can be proven, claims will be paid based on the level of disease. Like other asbestos trusts, the Grace trust only pays a percentage of claimant requests to ensure there is enough money for all present and future claims.
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Products Containing Asbestos
Asbestos-covered vermiculite has been used in millions of homes across the U.S. For decade, it was widely used in insulation, fireproofing, garden soil and fill dirt. Grace made dozens of products containing asbestos-tainted vermiculite. An example of asbestos-containing Grace products:
- Zonolite Super 40 – Used in interior dry wall applications
- Zonolite Masonry Insulation – For use in construction applications
- Zonolite Plaster – Dry plaster compound
- Monokote Cement – Fire-retardant cement for construction
- Monokote Fireproofing – Fire-retardant spray used in World Trade Center
- Noonan, Curtis, et al. “Multiple pathway asbestos exposure assessment for a Superfund community.” Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/v25/n1/full/jes201425a.html
- Seltzer, Rick. Baltimore Business Journal. “W.R. Grace makes $490M final payment to asbestos trust.” Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2015/02/11/w-r-grace-makes-490m-final-payment-to-asbestos.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Department. “Protect Your Family from Asbestos-Contaminated Vermiculite Insulation.” Retrieved from http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos/protect-your-family-asbestos-contaminated-vermiculite-insulation