Ingersoll Rand is the result of a merger between two competing companies that both made drills. Like many other industrial companies, Ingersoll Rand once used components and materials that contained asbestos. The company became liable for illnesses caused by exposure and has faced asbestos lawsuits.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is a large, international company. Its North American headquarters are located in North Carolina. The company’s other offices are located in Dublin, Belgium, and Shanghai.
Ingersoll Rand is dedicated to improving quality of life by creating better environments. It does so by selling products that protect perishable foods, enhance indoor air quality, and make industrial operations more efficient.
Brands under the Ingersoll Rand umbrella include:
- American Standard
- Club Car
- Thermo King
- GHH Rand
- Ingersoll Rand tools
In 1870, Simon Ingersoll invented and patented a steam-powered rock drill. Ingersoll used this invention to start the Ingersoll Rock Drill Company in 1871.
In 1872, the Rand and Waring Drill and Compressor Company was founded, eventually changing its name to the Rand Drill Company. Ingersoll then merged with Sergeant Drill Company to become Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Company.
In 1904, Ingersoll-Sergeant drills helped dig the Panama Canal. Rand was producing portable compressors at this time. In 1905, these two competitors came together to form the Ingersoll-Rand Company.
The new company continued to develop better drills, but also expanded its reach to include other products. Ingersoll Rand also grew by acquiring smaller companies.
These new ventures included engineering, locomotive engines, boiler compressors, jackhammer drills, air-powered rock drills, centrifugal pumps, and much more. In 2008, Ingersoll Rand acquired the well-known HVAC company, Trane.
With these acquisitions, came expansion and success, but also risk and liability. Many parts, products, and companies that Ingersoll Rand acquired contained or used asbestos at some point in time. When these companies were acquired, Ingersoll Rand took on their lawsuits and liabilities over mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos illnesses.
Asbestos in Products
Ingersoll Rand made many products using asbestos-containing components manufactured by other companies. Ingersoll Rand also acquired companies, like Trane, that once used asbestos in their parts and products. The full extent of the liability was not immediately known because asbestos-related illnesses develop over decades.
The types of products sold by Ingersoll Rand most likely to contain asbestos include:
- HVAC equipment
- Other parts used in high friction or high-temperature environments
Before the 1970s, these parts and components often included asbestos. Asbestos was often used because it resists fire and heat and enhances durability.
Asbestos Exposure from Ingersoll Rand
Asbestos is a natural mineral that companies commonly used because of its unique qualities. Asbestos exposure is potentially harmful because asbestos is a fibrous substance. Its sharp, microscopic fibers can easily flake off and become airborne.
Once asbestos floats as dust, it can be easily inhaled or ingested. Once in the body, the fibers can cause serious tissue damage over time. In some people, these fibers lead to devastating illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
The people who worked at Ingersoll Rand when the company used asbestos-containing parts risked exposure. While these workers did not experience the same risk level as those who directly handled asbestos, they may have disturbed fibers in the parts they were using.
Others who used Ingersoll Rand products in different industries were also at risk of asbestos exposure. For example, someone working on a ship’s boiler with an Ingersoll Rand compressor could have been exposed to the asbestos in it.
The workers most at risk were boiler workers, factory workers, engineers, sailors and seamen, and maintenance and repair workers.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Because of its connection to asbestos, Ingersoll Rand has faced several lawsuits seeking compensation and justice due to their asbestos-related illnesses from exposure.
Ingersoll Rand has settled or dismissed these lawsuits without resorting to bankruptcy protection for the entire company and without forming an asbestos trust.
In one case against Ingersoll Rand, a jury awarded a former power plant employee’s widow $1 million. The award was to be paid by several companies whose asbestos products were used by this man, including Ingersoll Rand.
More recently, a subsidiary, Trane Technologies, placed two business units in bankruptcy over asbestos liabilities. Trane stated that it pays about $100 million every year in asbestos claims. This move should lead to a trust to compensate victims.
Ingersoll Rand has managed to survive expensive payouts and remain a successful company. If you believe Ingersoll Rand products played a role in your asbestos-related illness, you can work with a mesothelioma lawyer to help you make your case and file a claim for adequate compensation.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.