GAF Corporation

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GAF Corporation, otherwise known as General Aniline and Film Corporation or G.A.F., was founded in 1886 and remains in business as a prominent manufacturer of roofing materials. Throughout its years in operation, GAF has produced a variety of materials, including ductwork, deck railings, shingles and siding. Asbestos was used in many of these products, primarily for fireproofing and weather resistance. GAF was responsible for exposing thousands of workers and consumers to asbestos. G-I Holdings, GAF’s parent company, set up an asbestos trust to handle claims from those suffering from asbestos illnesses.

01. History of Asbestos Use

GAF Corporation History of Asbestos Use

Quick Facts
  • Years in Operation: 1886 – present
  • Location: Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ
  • Production: Construction materials, roofing materials
  • Asbestos Trust: Yes

GAF Corporation’s origins had German roots, as the company was an American branch of the German company I.G. Dyes. I.G. Dyes first acquired General Aniline Works and Agfa-Ansco Corporation before General Aniline and Film (GAF) was formed. GAF’s business growth was stunted during World War II when the company was seized by the United States federal government due to its German affiliations.

Once GAF was released from its seizure, it began to quickly expand its product offering, spanning across many different construction products. Part of this expansion included their acquisition of Ruberoid Corporation in 1965. Ruberoid was a roofing supplies manufacturer that was known as GAF Materials Corporation after its acquisition before the company legally changed its name to GAF Corporation in 1968.

Records show that GAF products continued to contain asbestos through 1981.

GAF became responsible for Ruberoid’s operations, which included the largest asbestos mine in Virginia. Asbestos was mined and incorporated into their products, popular because it was easily accessible and cost-friendly. GAF relied heavily on the use of asbestos throughout all of their product lines and didn’t cease use of the asbestos mine until 1975. Similar to many other asbestos companies, GAF Corporation saw much of their success in the mid-1980s during an increase in housing construction.

02. Asbestos Products

GAF Corporation Asbestos Products

Construction products produced throughout the mid-1900s were likely to contain asbestos. One of the most beneficial properties of the mineral was that asbestos offered weather-resistance, ideal for roofing, decking and other outdoor products. The fireproofing capabilities of asbestos were also ideal for flooring, walls and other structures susceptible to fire damage.

GAF Corporation Products Containing Asbestos
List of Products Containing Asbestos
Product Name Start Year End Year
GAF Air-Vent Asbestos Felt
GAF Asbestos Base Felt Roofing
GAF Asbestos Combination Flashing
GAF Asbestos Rollboard
GAF Bright Future Luxor Vinyl Floors
GAF Calsilite Insulating Cement 1940 1971
GAF Color-Tex Cement Sheets
GAF Contico Asbestos Floor Tile
GAF Coverkote
GAF Fashioncraft VinylFlex Floor Tile
GAF Flat And Corrugated Asbestos Paper 1928 1981
GAF Flat Corrugated Asbestos Paper 1928 1981
GAF Frost-Proof Pipe Covering
GAF Grade HF (Hard Finish) Cement
GAF Hearth-Glow Brick
GAF Insulating Cement
GAF Luran Airtred Vinyl Floors
GAF Pipe Covering Insulation
GAF Range Boiler Jacket
GAF Ruberoid 115 Insulating Cement 1936 1975
GAF Ruberoid 203 Insulating Cement
GAF Ruberoid 214 Insulating Cement 1937 1975
GAF Ruberoid American Thatch Roofing Shingles
GAF Ruberoid American Thatch Shingles
GAF Ruberoid Anti-Sweat Pipe Covering 1936 1958
GAF Ruberoid Aristo Insulating Siding
GAF Ruberoid Asbestos Millboard 1928 1981
GAF Ruberoid Asbestos Rollbaord 1928 1981
GAF Ruberoid Calsilite Block 1944 1971
GAF Ruberoid Calsilite Insulating Cement
GAF Ruberoid Calsilite Insulation
GAF Ruberoid Calsilite Pipe Covering 1944 1971
GAF Ruberoid Corrugated Asbestos Cement Sheets
GAF Ruberoid Deluxe Stonewall Board
GAF Ruberoid Dura-Color Colonial Siding
GAF Ruberoid Eternit Cement Sheets
GAF Ruberoid Eternit Pressure Pipe
GAF Ruberoid Grain-Tex Asbestos Cement Siding
GAF Ruberoid Matico Asbestos Floor Tile
GAF Ruberoid Roofing Asphalt
GAF Ruberoid Stonewall Board
GAF Ruberoid Utility Corrugated Asbestos Sheets
GAF Ruberoid Vermont Asbestos 7M Insulating Cement
GAF Ruberoid Vermont Asbestos Grade 115 Raw Asbestos Fiber
GAF Ruberoid WatcoCell/SuperCell Sheets & Block
GAF Ruberoid Weather Coat Emulsion
GAF Satin Finish Cement
GAF Sheet Vinyl A-1 Vinyl Floors
GAF Stoneglow Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile
GAF Sure-Stik Adhesive-Backed Vinyl Asbestos Tile
GAF T/NA Insulation Jacket 1962 1971
GAF Timbertex Shingles
GAF Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tile
GAF VinylFlex Floor Tile
GAF Woolfelt Pipe Covering Insulation 1928 1959

Some of GAF Corporation’s products continued to contain asbestos until 1982. Today, GAF’s product line focuses on roofing products for both residential and commercial purposes.

03. Occupational Exposure

GAF Corporation and Occupational Exposure

Through Ruberoid’s acquisition, GAF was responsible for miners’ asbestos exposure. In working with large quantities of asbestos on a frequent basis, miners have been very susceptible to developing asbestos-related illnesses, like malignant mesothelioma.

In addition to miners, GAF also was responsible for the exposure of its workers and consumers. Construction workers, insulation workers and those installing, repairing and removing their materials could have come in contact with the mineral.

Occupations Affected by GAF Corporations’s Asbestos Use
04. Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos Litigation Against GAF Corporation

The dangers of asbestos became known as early as the 1930s. Throughout the mid-1900s, cases of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other diseases were growing, and legislation was being put in place to limit asbestos risk. Many asbestos companies chose to prioritize profits instead of worker and consumer health, including GAF Corporation.

By 2005, GAF was named in 500,000 asbestos claims.

The Ruberoid asbestos mine was not closed down until 1975, and GAF products produced through 1981 contained asbestos. Miners, workers, and consumers have filed claims against GAF Corporation for the past few decades, seeking compensation for their asbestos diagnoses and related suffering.

By 2005, GAF, together with G-I holdings, had paid over $750 million to asbestos victims in just seven years. G-I Holdings remained responsible for around 150,000 asbestos lawsuits that had been filed or were expected to be filed. To accommodate the growing number of claims, G-I Holdings, GAF’s parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001. They were also required to set up an asbestos trust fund to pay out current and future claims.

05. Asbestos Trust Fund

GAF Asbestos Trust Fund

GAF Corporation’s asbestos trust fund is set up through their parent company, G-I Holdings, and is referred to as the G-I Holdings Inc Trust. The trust was created in 2009 in the company’s plan to reorganize. It began accepting claims in 2010 and continues to accept claims today.

The current payment percentage for successful claims is 5%.

Like other asbestos trust funds, GAF pays out asbestos claims using a set payment percentage to guarantee funds for future claims. The current payment percentage is 5%, but the amount a claimant is compensated can vary. Payout numbers reflect base-level values, and the actual values may be different based on many different factors. Factors include, but aren’t limited to, age, exposure, type and firm settlement history. Those interested in filing a claim should consult with a mesothelioma lawyer to fully understand their options.