CertainTeed Corporation

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CertainTeed Corporation has manufactured and sold construction supplies for more than a century. Until 1993, many of the company’s products contained asbestos. In 2019, CertainTeed faced more than 60,000 asbestos lawsuits and filed for bankruptcy using a process called the Texas Two-Step.

01. History of Asbestos Use

CertainTeed Corporation History of Asbestos Use

George M. Brown started General Roofing Manufacturing Company in East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1904. General Roofing manufactured smooth-roll and grit-surface asphalt roofing. In 1917, the company became Certain-teed Products Corporation. The company changed its name once more in 1976 to CertainTeed Corporation.

Quick Facts
  • Years in Operation: 1904 – Present
  • Location: Malvern, Pennsylvania
  • Production: Building materials
  • Asbestos Trust: In development as of 2019

In its early years, CertainTeed used asbestos in a variety of products. As the company grew, it added new products like PVC piping, gypsum wallboard and fiberglass. CertainTeed also expanded its manufacturing capabilities by purchasing new facilities.

In 1962, CertainTeed purchased a factory in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. This plant manufactured asbestos cement pipe. Records show CertainTeed knew of asbestos dangers but kept the information from their employees and the public. CertainTeed closed the plant in 1979.

Many other workers at CertainTeed’s manufacturing plants were at risk of asbestos exposure. Anyone who used its products, like construction workers, also faced exposure risks.

Over the years, CertainTeed merged with other companies, including the fiberglass manufacturer Gustin-Bacon Manufacturing Corporation. For a brief period in the late 1930s, Celotex Corporation owned CertainTeed. But CertainTeed regained control over its operations within a few years. In 1968, CertainTeed formed a partnership with Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, which bought the company in 1988.

CertainTeed’s headquarters are currently in Pennsylvania. CertainTeed remains a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of building products. While its newer products do not use asbestos, some older products with asbestos are still in use. People may still risk asbestos exposure from these products. These harmful products have led to ongoing litigation against CertainTeed.

02. Asbestos Products

CertainTeed Corporation Asbestos Products

CertainTeed made several popular products that contained asbestos. The company manufactured and sold some of those asbestos products as early as 1930. The last known asbestos product it produced was a type of cement pipe, which the company sold until 1993.

Other CertainTeed products contained asbestos, such as cement sheets, joint compounds, roof coating and more.

CertainTeed Corporation Products Containing Asbestos

List of Products Containing Asbestos
Product Name Start Year End Year
CertainTeed Asbestos Base Flashing 1968 1976
CertainTeed Asbestos Cement Pipe 1962 1992
CertainTeed Asbestos Cement Sheets 1950 1976
CertainTeed Asbestos Roof Coating 1930 1982
CertainTeed Cold Process Cement 1940 1967
CertainTeed Joint Treating Compound 1937 1956
CertainTeed Plastic Cement 1930 1977
CertainTeed Sealing Cement 1930 1976
CertainTeed Wet Seal Plastic Cement 1961 1977
03. Occupational Exposure

CertainTeed Corporation and Occupational Exposure

The construction industry used asbestos products when building homes, schools and other structures. For example, CertainTeed manufactured roof coating, joint compounds and other products with asbestos. Anyone handling the materials was at risk for exposure. People at risk of occupational exposure include cement layers and roofers.

People who live or work around its asbestos products could be at risk. CertainTeed products in homes and schools could expose homemakers and teachers to asbestos. Individuals who perform do-it-yourself home repairs on CertainTeed materials may also face exposure risks.

Occupations Impacted by CertainTeed’s Asbestos Use

04. Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos Litigation Against CertainTeed Corporation

CertainTeed has faced many lawsuits involving its asbestos use. Since 2002, CertainTeed’s parent company reports it was named in more than 300,000 asbestos cases. By 2022, the company had spent $2 billion in legal costs, judgments and settlements.

In 2019, CertainTeed began a bankruptcy process dubbed the Texas Two-Step. This process involves creating a new subsidiary company that takes on the parent company’s asbestos liabilities. The new company then files for bankruptcy.

In this case, CertainTeed created a subsidiary called DMBP. Once DMBP absorbed CertainTeed’s asbestos liabilities, it filed for bankruptcy. This Texas Two-Step maneuver paused roughly 60,000 pending asbestos claims the company faced. As of 2023, the bankruptcy is still in process.

In the past, CertainTeed settled some asbestos claims. Settlements are monetary agreements between both parties to resolve the lawsuit. The company has also had to pay judgments for asbestos lawsuits.

In 2017, a jury found CertainTeed liable for a pipefitter’s pleural mesothelioma. He had laid asbestos cement pipes during the 1970s, which exposed him to asbestos. The jury awarded the patient and his wife $10 million in compensation.

Anyone who believes they developed mesothelioma from CertainTeed asbestos products can contact a mesothelioma lawyer to learn about their options.