Resources for Patients and their Families

Forty-Eight Insulations, Inc.

In 1923, the Forty-Eight Insulations Company was founded as a producer of high level insulation materials. Most of their products contained asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral which was later found to be highly toxic. Because of the presence of asbestos, many customers who purchased insulation became very sick and some even lost their lives. When people are around asbestos in any form, they are likely to unknowingly inhale microscopic particles of the substance which can become lodged in the respiratory system and promote diseases such as mesothelioma, an asbestos cancer that has a typically low survival rate because there is no cure.

Treatment can, however, be found at leading mesothelioma clinics in the country. They offer treatments like mesothelioma pleurocentesis, pneumonectomy, pleurodesis and mesothelioma extrapleural pneumonectomy. Chemotherapy with Alimta®, Navelbine and Onconase is also used. We offer more resources on mesothelioma as well as treatment information in our mesothelioma treatment guide.

Asbestos was used by Forty-Eight Insulations until 1982, so a large number of people were affected by their toxic products. Former customers began to file lawsuits and create claims that they were injured because of these asbestos filled items. By 1985, the company had been dealt more than 26,000 claims, and they decided to declare bankruptcy.

Forty-Eight Insulations underwent a ten year plan in which their assets were liquidated to cover their debts. The Chapter 11 filing would eventually allow them to resume business, but first a plan had to be created to finish paying off the asbestos lawsuits. The Forty-Eight Insulation Qualified Settlement Trust was developed to handle the settlement process for existing and future cases. Two separate amounts were placed into the trust fund. The first was $39 million to finalize all existing claims, and the second was an additional $15 million for future claims.

Every claim that is received by the Trust is examined to ensure it meets all qualifying criteria. This includes proof that the plaintiff was injured from using products made by Forty-Eight Insulations and a certified legal document stating what type of illness they are suffering with. The trustee over the fund has the option to deny claims that are seen as ineligible, and a rejection will sometimes lead to long and costly court battles.

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