American Olean Tile Company
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American Olean Tile Company manufactures and distributes tiles and is owned by Dal-Tile International, a subsidiary of Mohawk Industries. American Olean made products with asbestos after it was acquired by National Gypsum in 1958. Many workers exposed and harmed by American Olean products have taken legal action and sought damages.
About American Olean Tile Company and Asbestos
American Olean began in 1912 when Charles T. Fuller and O.W. Pierce came together to make clay products and start a business called Olean Tile Company in Olean, New York.
- By 1915, the company had eleven employees and made tile in a single kiln.The company grew over subsequent decades, at one point employing about 400 people at the Olean plant. Olean eventually became a leader in the tile industry.
- The name changed to American Olean Tile Company in 1958 when National Gypsum bought it and made it a subsidiary. This marked the beginning of asbestos use in the company’s products, like tile adhesives and cement board.
- By 1964, American Olean had hundreds of employees, all of whom were at risk for asbestos exposure. Also at risk were all the workers in construction, renovations, and other industries that used Olean products.
- In 1988, flooring company Armstrong bought Olean from National Gypsum for $330 million. Dal-Tile acquired Olean in 1995. In 2012, Dal-Tile shut down the original plant in Olean and moved most of its production to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Today the company is known just as American Olean. It is a brand of Dal-Tile flooring, a subsidiary of Mohawk Industries, one of the largest flooring companies in the world.
Asbestos Use at American Olean Tile Company
The purchase by National Gypsum in 1958 began American Olean’s use of asbestos in its products. National Gypsum already made many products with asbestos. In tile and related products, asbestos added strength, durability, insulation, and fireproofing.
Products that Olean made with asbestos include:
- Flooring adhesives
- Backing board
- Cement board
Who Was at Risk for Exposure from American Olean?
Any of the hundreds of people who worked at American Olean planta could have been exposed to asbestos fibers. By handling the material to make the products, they could have inhaled the fibers of asbestos set loose in the air.
Also at risk were any workers in other industries and for other companies that used Olean products. This includes construction workers, tile installers, demolition workers, plumbers, electricians, and anyone else involved in remodeling or renovating homes.
Homeowners could also be exposed and may still be at risk today. Asbestos in Olean tiles, adhesives, and backings remains in many older buildings. If those materials deteriorate or are disturbed by renovations, the workers and residents can be exposed.
American Olean also had a role in contaminating the Salford Quarry with asbestos and other chemicals. The company purchased and used the quarry in Pennsylvania for waste disposal beginning in 1963.
National Gypsum took over liability for remediating the site. It provided $1.25 million to the Environmental Protection Agency for the effort.
American Olean Asbestos Lawsuits
As a smaller company, American Olean has not faced as many asbestos lawsuits as larger manufacturers of asbestos products. It has been named in several lawsuits and dismissed many cases. The parent companies, National Gypsum and Armstrong, are more likely to be liable for adding asbestos to the Olean tile brand.
Patricia Bier filed a lawsuit against several companies, including American Olean, after her husband Feruccio died from mesothelioma. He worked as a laborer and owned a flooring company that used a range of products, including Olean tiles and adhesives. The courts dismissed the company from this lawsuit in 2012 and another case in 2013.
What if I Worked with American Olean Products?
If you worked for American Olean or worked with their products during the asbestos years, you could have been exposed. Talk to your doctor about cancer screenings or seek a diagnosis if you have symptoms.
An asbestos lawyer can look over your case and determine which companies are responsible and liable for your injuries. If American Olean products caused your exposure, you may be able to file a lawsuit against Dal-Tile or a claim with National Gypsum’s asbestos trust that it started after filing for bankruptcy.
American Olean and its parent companies caused exposure in hundreds, maybe even thousands of workers. If you’re one of those people, you have legal rights and can seek compensation. Work with an experienced asbestos lawyer to find out what your options are and for expert advice and guidance.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Page Written by Mary Ellen Ellis
Mary Ellen Ellis has been the head writer for Mesothelioma.net since 2016. With hundreds of mesothelioma and asbestos articles to her credit, she is one of the most experienced writers on these topics. Her degrees and background in science and education help her explain complicated medical topics for a wider audience. Mary Ellen takes pride in providing her readers with the critical information they need following a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness.
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.