ACandS, at one time known as Armstrong Contracting and Supply Corporation, sold and installed asbestos insulation for decades. It exposed workers and others and ultimately filed for bankruptcy over asbestos lawsuits. Victims can now file claims with the ACandS Asbestos Settlement Trust for compensation.
A History of ACandS
Armstrong Cork Company created ACandS in 1958 as a subsidiary dedicated to asbestos insulation. ACandS did not make this insulation. It sold and installed products made by other companies. The Armstrong Cork Company began in the 1860s and eventually got into insulation after acquiring other companies.
The spin-off of the ACandS subsidiary came as profits declined following World War II. To separate the insulation contracting from the rest of the business, Armstrong created ACandS.
Asbestos at ACandS
ACandS used asbestos in an indirect way. It sold and installed insulation made by other companies in commercial and industrial buildings and equipment. The insulation the company used contained asbestos from 1958 through 1985. In 1974, it stopped using friable asbestos, which is the riskiest form of this dangerous mineral.
In 1969, ACandS sold to 31 people, most of whom worked there or had retired from the company. The new, employee-owned company, Irex Corporation, retained ACandS as a subsidiary. Irex offered all workers the chance to buy shares beginning in 1970. The transfer of ACandS to individual investors was driven by asbestos lawsuits that began in the 1960s.
ACandS eventually filed for bankruptcy. Today, Irex offers many services and still installs insulation, although without asbestos. Among its other services is asbestos abatement.
Who Was at Risk for ACandS Asbestos Exposure?
The asbestos products ACandS installed in other facilities led to exposure in many workers. Most affected did not work for ACandS but for other companies that used their products. Insulation workers faced the greatest risks. They installed, replaced, and maintained asbestos insulation.
Pipefitters and plumbers also used ACandS insulation and pipe coverings as well as asbestos-containing gaskets. Workers in shipyards handled ACandS insulation, as did boiler workers, construction workers, maintenance workers, and others.
Lawsuits Against ACandS
ACandS faced a number of lawsuits over asbestos exposure. Workers who handled asbestos insulation sold by ACandS suffered exposure and risked becoming ill later. Many did, and some of those sued the company, and other defendants liable for the costs of being sick with mesothelioma and other conditions.
- William Roberts and his wife Beverly sued ACandS and others after he developed peritoneal mesothelioma in 2001. Roberts worked for PSI Energy, Inc. and handled asbestos insulation sold by ACandS. A jury awarded him $2.8 million in damages. His wife received $1 million for loss of consortium. PSI challenged the verdict, but it stood after going all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court.
- In 2001, a jury in Baltimore awarded five asbestos victims $40 million in damages. The lawsuit led to a month-long trial against several defendants, including ACandS. The amounts the plaintiffs and their families received ranged from $3.5 to $15 million. The jury found ACandS liable in one case, but the company also settled with the others before the verdict. The plaintiffs included pipefitters and bricklayers. One victim was the daughter of a pipefitter, who suffered exposure from the fibers he brought home on his clothes and that she washed.
- Another important case also involved a loved one of a worker who handled asbestos. Ramona and Lee Stegemoller sued ACandS and other companies after she developed an asbestos illness. Lee worked as an insulator and brought the fibers home on his clothing, where his wife handled them. The Indiana Supreme Court decided that Ramona did have standing and a valid claim. The Stegemollers were allowed to proceed with the lawsuit.
The ACandS Asbestos Settlement Trust
Due to the high number of lawsuits against it, ACandS filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Asbestos companies filing for this reason often must create a trust as part of the reorganization plan. The ACandS Asbestos Settlement Trust became active on July 31, 2008. The company funded the trust with $527.6 million in stock and insurance settlements.
In January 2021, changes to the trust took effect and reduced payouts for victims. The Trustee reduced the payment percentage, how much of a claim each victim can receive, from 7.2% to 4.9%. This cuts back what you may receive from the trust, but you can still get compensation to help with medical expenses.
Getting Compensation from ACandS
If you worked with ACandS products, you may be eligible to collect compensation. Because the company went bankrupt, a lawyer will most likely suggest filing a claim with the asbestos trust. For the best advice, talk to an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer.
Lawyers specializing in asbestos illnesses know how to determine which companies caused your exposure. You may not know you handled ACandS products, but they can find out. A lawyer can also walk you through the process of filing a claim.
Don’t miss your opportunity to benefit from the asbestos trust. ACandS put many workers at risk and caused exposure that led to asbestos illnesses in many people. The company must pay compensation to eligible victims. Contact a lawyer to find out what to do next.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.