Celotex Corporation History of Asbestos Use
- Years in Operation: 1921 – present
- Location: Tampa, Florida
- Production: Roofing and insulation materials
- Asbestos Trust: Yes
Celotex Corporation was initially founded in 1921 as a roofing and insulation manufacturer. Celotex underwent several mergers and acquired other companies throughout its history, the most notorious of which was Carey Canada Inc. The company was acquired as a subsidiary of Celotex in 1921. During this time, Celotex was owned by Philip Carey Company, who also known to manufacture asbestos products.
Celotex’s acquisition of Carey Canada is notable for its subsequent increase of asbestos use by Celotex, as Carey Canada was already notorious as an asbestos company. Carey Canada was responsible for mining, processing and milling asbestos fibers to be used in Celotex products. With the asbestos mine, Celotex Corporation could expand its asbestos offerings. In 1925, Celotex established a subsidiary called the Celotex Company of Great Britain, which distributed asbestos roofing, siding and insulation throughout Europe and boosted revenue for the company.
In 1964, Walter Industries, Inc. acquired Celotex and went public. Celotex’s previous owner, Philip Carey Company, began reorganizing around this time and was acquired by Rapid American Corporation in 1967.
Amidst acquisitions and mergers, Celotex began facing thousands of lawsuits for its use of asbestos in its products. Walter Industries also faced financial hardships throughout this time, but was not held liable for Celotex’s use of asbestos, which was halted in the mid-1980s. Factory workers, miners, other occupations and consumers were exposed to asbestos materials from Celotex’s long history of asbestos use, and individuals may still be at risk of exposure today from old products. As such, lawsuits continue to be filed against the company.
Celotex Corporation Asbestos Products
Celotex Corporation manufactured asbestos products until the 1980s. Some of their most popular materials included asbestos-containing insulation, cement, siding and roofing, but the company also specialized in asbestos pipe coverings, paper and sealing materials.
Although the company began its operations in the industrial equipment sector, they expanded to commercial and residential uses in their products. With this, the risk of asbestos exposure spanned from workers to everyday consumers and homeowners.
Celotex Corporation Products Containing Asbestos
|Product Name||Start Year||End Year|
|Celotex Asbestos Papers & RolI Boards||1908||1982|
|Celotex Carey 7M Cement|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Cement|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Cloth|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Felt|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Insulating Ducts|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Millboard||1906||1982|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Rope||1925||1945|
|Celotex Carey Asbestos Tank Jacket|
|Celotex Carey Block|
|Celotex Carey BTU Cement|
|Celotex Carey Calcium Silicate Block|
|Celotex Carey Calcium Silicate Pipecovering|
|Celotex Carey Cell Block|
|Celotex Carey Cell Pipecovering|
|Celotex Carey Corrugated Asbestos Paper||1906||1960|
|Celotex Carey Corrugated Asbestos Paper|
|Celotex Carey Duct Adhesive||1940||1955|
|Celotex Carey Fibrous Adhesive|
|Celotex Carey Fibrous Adhesive||1906||1984|
|Celotex Carey Fireclad Asbestos Paper|
|Celotex Carey Firefoil Board|
|Celotex Carey Firefoil Panel|
|Celotex Carey Fireguard Asbestos Paper|
|Celotex Carey Flex Board||1925||1964|
|Celotex Carey Insulating Cement|
|Celotex Carey Insulation Duct|
|Celotex Carey Insulation Seal|
|Celotex Carey Marine Panel||1940||1950|
|Celotex Carey Panel Board|
|Celotex Carey Pipecovering|
|Celotex Carey Super-Light 85% Magnesia Pipe Covering|
|Celotex Carey Temp-Check PCB (Pipecovering)||1942||1958|
|Celotex Carey Thermaboard|
|Celotex Carey Thermalite||1906||1937|
|Celotex Carey Thermotex-B|
|Celotex Carey Woolfelt|
|Celotex Carey York Pipecovering|
|Celotex Careystone Asbestos Cement Siding|
|Celotex Careystone Roofing & Siding|
|Celotex Careystone Sheathing|
|Celotex Careytemp Adhesive||1961||1968|
|Celotex Careytemp Block|
|Celotex Careytemp Cement|
|Celotex Careytemp Finishing Cement||1941||1968|
|Celotex Careytemp Pipecovering|
|Celotex Careytemp Pre-Molded Insulation|
|Celotex Everlastic Flashing Cement|
|Celotex Vitricel Asbestos Sheets||1941||1960|
|Celotex Vitricel Cement No. 10||1940||1969|
|Celotex Vitricel Cement No. 19||1940||1969|
Celotex Corporation and Occupational Exposure
Due to the widespread use of Celotex’s asbestos insulation and roofing materials, thousands of individuals across various occupations may have been exposed to the company’s products. Construction workers are among the most at risk of asbestos exposure, as they are frequently performing demolition and remodeling jobs.
Aside from working with these materials on an occupational basis, do-it-yourselfers may expose themselves to these materials while completing home improvement projects. Projects such as repairing roofing and siding may expose individuals who are not wearing protective gear or not properly trained on handling asbestos. Wall demolition or other tasks can disturb asbestos insulation and expose the individual completing the task, as well as family members in the house.
Asbestos Litigation Against Celotex Corporation
Celotex faced thousands of lawsuits due to their asbestos-containing products. By the time they established their asbestos trust in 1998, the company faced almost 400,000 asbestos-related claims, including personal injury and property lawsuits.
One 1990 case involved Stuart George, who worked with asbestos materials as a contracted insulator. George’s wife, Marion, filed the lawsuit on his behalf after he passed away from mesothelioma in 1976. He worked for Robert A. Keasbey Company from 1931 – 1975, which distributed products from Celotex’s former subsidiary, the Philip Carey Company.
Celotex was found responsible for 90% damage, the remaining 10% of which was spread across 15 other defendants. The jury initially ordered Celotex to pay $700,000 in damages to Marion George, but later reduced the amount to $588,000.
In another case, Haskel Shelton McNair and Mattie Erlene McNair filed a lawsuit in 1989 after Haskel was diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure from Celotex products. The case mentioned 12 other asbestos companies, including Fibreboard Corporation and H.K. Porter Company, Inc.
The jury assigned 30% blame to Celotex, 10% to Raymark, and the remaining 60% to other settling defendants. Celotex was ordered to pay the McNairs $125,000 in damages.
Celotex Corporation Asbestos Trust Fund
Celotex Corporation filed for bankruptcy on October 12, 1990. They established the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust in 1998, which came four years after courts found their owner, Walter Industries, Inc., not liable for Celotex’s asbestos claims.
The trust was initially funded with $1.5 billion to settle current and future asbestos claims. The estimates for payouts usually reflect base-level figures and can vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, age, exposure, type of asbestos-related condition and firm settlement history. These factors may result in higher payment amounts for claimants on a case-by-case basis.