Celotex Corporation

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Celotex Corporation was established in the early 1920s. The company provided residential and commercial roofing. It used asbestos in its products from its founding until the 1980s. The company was a major asbestos company, even acquiring a subsidiary to mine asbestos fibers for its products. As a result, many individuals were exposed to asbestos. Thousands of lawsuits were filed against Celotex Corporation, leading to its bankruptcy in 1990. The company now has an asbestos trust to settle past and future claims.

01. History of Asbestos Use

Celotex Corporation History of Asbestos Use

Quick Facts
  • 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.

02. Asbestos Products

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
List of 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 Pipe Covering
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 Pipe Covering
Celotex Carey Super-Light 85% Magnesia Pipe Covering
Celotex Carey Thermaboard
Celotex Carey Thermalite 1906 1937
Celotex Carey Thermotex-B
Celotex Carey Woolfelt
Celotex Carey York Pipe Covering
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 Pipe Covering
Celotex Careytemp Pre-Molded Insulation
Celotex Careytemp-Check PCB (Pipe Covering) 1942 1958
Celotex Everlastic Flashing Cement
Celotex Vitricel Asbestos Sheets 1941 1960
Celotex Vitricel Cement No. 10 1940 1969
Celotex Vitricel Cement No. 19 1940 1969
03. Occupational Exposure

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.

Occupations Affected by Celotex Corporation's Asbestos Use
04. Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos Litigation Against Celotex Corporation

Celotex faced thousands of lawsuits due to their asbestos-containing products. By the time they established their asbestos trust fund in 1998, the company faced almost 400,000 asbestos-related claims, including personal injury and property lawsuits. If you believe you or a loved one was exposed, learn how a mesothelioma lawyer can help.

By 1998, Celotex faced asbestos-related personal injury claims as high as $200 billion.

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.

05. Asbestos Trust Fund

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 current payment percentage for successful asbestos claims is 7.7%.

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.