Celotex Corporation made construction materials and had several subsidiaries, including an asbestos mining company. Celotex used asbestos to make wallboard, fiberboard, shingles, and other construction materials. Facing thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits, Celotex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and created a trust fund in 1996 to compensate victims.
Celotex History and Asbestos
Celotex was founded in the early 1920s in Chicago. It was a subsidiary of the Philip Carey Corporation. The subsidiary was formed to manufacture Celotex fiberboard insulation at a facility in Marrero, Louisiana.
- Celotex Company of Great Britain was founded in 1925, and only this arm of the company still exists today as a brand of Saint-Gobain.
- The company expanded over time, opening new manufacturing plants in the UK and several states, including New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, Ohio, and Alabama.
- In 1932, the Philip Carey Corporation spun off Celotex, which became an independent company.
- The company also broadened its product offerings to include various types of insulation and construction materials like roofing shingles, ceiling tiles, and siding.
- In 1961, Celotex was acquired by Jim Walter Corporation. The headquarters moved to Tampa, Florida.
- Celotex expanded by developing new products and by acquiring smaller companies. One acquisition was Carey Canada, Inc., an asbestos mine in Canada.
- Carey operated asbestos mines for Celotex products as well as its own branded construction products through 1986. It was the acquisition of Carey that led to the significant use of asbestos in Celotex products.
- By the 1980s, Celotex and Carey began facing lawsuits due to those affected by asbestos exposure. Many employees who worked in manufacturing or the mines and those who used their products and people who had used their products started to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and some other types of cancers.
- The lawsuits and claims would number nearly 380,000, forcing the company to seek bankruptcy protection. This process began in 1990, with the company emerging in 1996.
By 1997, a British company bought some of Celotex’s operations. The only Celotex now in operation is located in Great Britain. This modern company makes and sells various types of insulation without asbestos.
How Did Celotex and Carey Use Asbestos?
From the beginning, Celotex made insulation. Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been used in insulation for many decades.
Asbestos naturally resists heat, electricity, and fire. It is also lightweight and abundant, making it ideal for insulating products.
Even after Celotex expanded its product line to include other construction materials, asbestos remained an important component. Asbestos was used in most construction products in the middle of the 20th century. Manufacturers added it to ceiling, flooring, siding, insulation, and many other materials.
Both Celotex and Carey made these products. Carey worked directly with asbestos, mining it in Canada and distributing it to Celotex and other manufacturers.
Celotex and Carey Products Made with Asbestos
Some products made by Carey and Celotex that contained asbestos included:
- Carey firefoil board and panel
- Marine panel
- Careystone roofing
- Celobric textured buff blend
- Industrial A-C boards
- Celobric insulating brick siding
- Vitricel asbestos sheets
- Acoustical systems
- Acoustical ceiling tiles and panels
Which Workers Were at Risk of Celotex Asbestos Exposure?
Through both Carey and Celotex, thousands were exposed to asbestos, increasing their risk of becoming sick as a result. Miners were at risk of inhaling asbestos dust produced while they worked.
Those who processed and distributed asbestos from the mine were also at risk. Workers in Carey and Celotex manufacturing plants were at risk of asbestos exposure on the job, likely inhaling tiny fibers that came loose from the asbestos they handled daily.
In addition to Carey and Celotex employees, workers in other industries that used Celotex asbestos products were at risk of exposure:
- Construction workers
- Insulation installers
- Shipyard workers
- Demolition workers
- Home renovation workers
These individuals may also have brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing, tools, and hair. In turn, this put their family members at risk of secondhand asbestos exposure. footnote num=”4″]
Celelotex Asbestos Lawsuits
Because of the exposure Celotex caused, the company faced hundreds of thousands of asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits. These lawsuits began to be filed in the early 1980s. These are just a couple of examples:
- Stuart George worked as an insulator and died from mesothelioma in 1976. his employer, the Robert A. Keasbey Company, used Celotex asbestos products. His wife Marion filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Celotex was found to be 90% liable. She received an award of $588,000 in damages for her husband’s death.
- Haskel McNair developed lung cancer after working with Celotex products and asbestos products from other companies. He and his wife filed a lawsuit against Celotex and 12 other defendants. A jury found Celotex 30% liable and ordered the company to pay the plaintiffs $125,000.
Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust
Eventually, the amount of money Celotex was expected to pay to asbestos victims overwhelmed the company. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1990. It reorganized and emerged in 1996.
In 1998, the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust was created to settle claims over asbestos illnesses. It was originally funded with over $1.2 billion, covering both Celotex and Carey claims. The asbestos trust fund is still active today.
New York City was one of many victims to file a claim with the trust. The city claimed Celotex asbestos products caused damage to public schools and other public buildings in the city. The city was required to replace the insulation and other building materials, costing the city a significant amount of money.
In 2003, the trust was ordered to pay the city $40 million. As a result, New York became the largest claimant in the trust.
What to Do if You Were Exposed to Carey or Celotex Asbestos
If you worked for or with Celotex or Carey products, you might have been exposed to asbestos. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you can file a claim with the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust.
Claims are currently being accepted, but the process is complicated and often confusing. Let a mesothelioma or asbestos lawyer help guide you through the process to increase your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.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.