01. History of Asbestos Use
Blodgett Corporation History of Asbestos Use
Blodgett Corporation is a commercial oven manufacturer that produced pizza ovens with asbestos-containing parts. Manufacturers like Blodgett often used baking stones made of transite, also known as asbestos cement. Asbestos provided durability and fire resistance to cement products. Workers who produced and used ovens with transite baking stones may have experienced asbestos exposure.
- Years in Operation: 1854 – Present
- Location: Essex Junction, Vermont
- Production: Commercial pizza ovens
- Asbestos Trust: No
Blodgett Corporation began as G.S. Blodgett & Company in 1854 in Burlington, Vermont. The company’s founder built the business around his patented wood-burning baking oven.
In the first half of the 20th century, Blodgett continued to grow its commercial footprint. It began supplying ovens to restaurants in major cities, including New York, Boston and Philadelphia. During World War II, the company received contracts from the U.S. government to supply ovens to the Army and Navy.
In the 1950s, Blodgett began producing a line of pizza deck ovens. The company manufactured ovens using transite baking sheets. At least some of the sheets used to make the ovens were supplied by Johns-Manville, a major asbestos cement producer.
By the late 1990s, the company had around 750 workers in manufacturing plants in Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Between 1997 and 2001, Maytag Corporation owned Blodgett, and in 2001, Middleby Corporation became the company’s owner.
Today, Blodgett continues to operate as a commercial oven manufacturer. Its current owner, Middleby, reported almost $2 billion in sales in 2021.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
02. Asbestos Products
Blodgett Corporation Asbestos Products
Blodgett produced commercial pizza ovens using asbestos cement baking sheets. Asbestos was used in many products during the 20th century for its durability and fire resistance. It helped baking sheets cook food evenly and withstand high temperatures without cracking.
Some products manufactured by Blodgett that may contain asbestos include:
- Convection ovens
- Conveyor ovens
- Pizza deck ovens
- Steamer ovens
Some of these products used asbestos cement made by Johns-Manville. The use of asbestos cement resulted in exposure risks for both manufacturers and users.
03. Occupational Exposure
Blodgett Corporation and Occupational Exposure
Jobs that involved the creation, use and maintenance of Blodgett’s pizza ovens posed a danger of inhaling asbestos fibers. Occupational asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos diseases.
At one point, Blodgett employed as many as 750 employees in its manufacturing plants. Oven manufacturers risked asbestos exposure if baking sheets cracked or were otherwise damaged during production.
Blodgett sold its ovens to a wide range of commercial users, including fast-food chains like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. In addition to restaurants, the company also sold ovens to:
- Army installations
- Food manufacturers
- Navy installations
- Sports complexes
Workers who used Blodgett’s ovens risked exposure from use, routine maintenance and wear over time. For example, cleaning an oven to remove baked-on food debris risked releasing asbestos dust into the air.
As a result of the widespread use of Blodgett’s ovens, many different types of workers may have been exposed to asbestos. Also, workers’ families may have experienced secondary asbestos exposure. This type of exposure occurs when a worker brings fibers home on their clothes and in their hair.
04. Asbestos Litigation
Asbestos Litigation Against Blodgett Corporation
Blodgett has been named in mesothelioma lawsuits filed by people who used their pizza ovens. Some of these lawsuits may have resulted in undisclosed mesothelioma settlements. Average mesothelioma compensation from settlements is between $1 million and $1.4 million.
For example, a 56-year-old caterer with pleural mesothelioma filed a lawsuit against Blodgett in 2011. The lawsuit alleged he was exposed to asbestos from the company’s baking sheets while working at a Buffalo, New York, restaurant.
Mesothelioma patients who worked with or around Blodgett pizza ovens can contact an asbestos lawyer. As an asbestos company, Blodgett put workers and their families at risk of asbestos exposure. A lawyer can help patients and their families explore their legal options and handle litigation on their behalf.