Resources for Patients and their Families

Amatex Corporation

The Amatex Corporation is a manufacturer of fiberglass based materials. Amatex is based in Norristown, PA and was founded in the middle of the 1900's.

Fiberglass items must be able to endure extremely hot temperatures. Some are expected to withstand up to 1200° F or even higher. To accomplish this goal, the fiberglass must be made out of materials that can naturally survive in this amount of heat. During the early years of fiberglass production, asbestos was used for this very purpose. It is a naturally occurring mineral that has the ability to withstand extreme hot or cold conditions, and is also resistant to fire. This made it a very beneficial material for Amatex's product line.

The trouble began when people who purchased these products started to get sick. Amatex customers developed respiratory diseases, and a type of asbestos cancer called mesothelioma. Not only were people getting ill, but some of them even died. Asbestos was found to be the reason for all of these problems. Because it was originally thought to be harmless, no one employed preventative measures while handling these asbestos-based Amatex products. Asbestos was later discovered to be a toxic material that can be inhaled and remain in the respiratory system for a long time as a destructive and unhealthy attacker. This long latency period contributes to a short mesothelioma life expectancy.

Amatex was soon being sued by mesothelioma attorneys representing thousands of victims who had purchased their asbestos laden products. The number of claims continued to grow until the company executives felt their only option was a strategic bankruptcy reorganization plan. This would allow the company to remain in business and get out from under the massive debt that was continuing to develop. In 1982 Amatex entered into an agreement with the United States Bankruptcy Court.

A trust fund was established to help the people who had been seriously harmed by the fiberglass Amatex produced. Millions of dollars were put into the fund specifically to provide monetary compensation for these victims. Any person who was subjected to products that contained asbestos may be likely to fall ill, and therefore can be eligible to file a personal injury claim and request a settlement.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari