John Crane Inc.

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John Crane Inc. began in 1917 as a manufacturer of sealing products. It made power transmission components, seals, gaskets, packing and other items. Many John Crane products contained asbestos. People who develop mesothelioma from John Crane products may be able to file lawsuits against the company.

01. History of Asbestos Use

John Crane Inc. History of Asbestos Use

John Crane manufactured asbestos-containing products from the 1930s to 1985. Court documents list more than 200 John Crane asbestos products, including seals and gaskets. Companies bought these products to use in industrial and military settings.

Quick Facts
  • Years in Operation: 1917 – Present
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Production: Industrial sealing products
  • Asbestos Trust: No

Company founder John Crane started sealing leaking radiators in 1910 using lead foil from cigar wrappers. Crane received patents for many of his early products. His success attracted the attention of Frank Payne, who sold Crane packing for another company.

Crane and Payne formed a partnership in 1915. In 1917, they created the Crane Packing Company, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Over time, Crane Packing would become John Crane Inc.

Soon after, John Crane opened in other countries, like Canada and England. It also continued to expand its business in the United States.

As the company grew, it added products to its popular lineup of radiator seals. It began manufacturing packing for steamships and automobiles. By 1928, Chevrolet, Ford Motor Company and other auto companies used Crane Packing seals as a factory standard.

Today, John Crane operates as a subsidiary of Smiths Group plc, a British engineering company. While it no longer uses asbestos, the company still faces lawsuits over its asbestos use.

02. Asbestos Products

John Crane Inc. Asbestos Products

John Crane used asbestos in more than 200 products, according to court findings. As many as 40 contained crocidolite asbestos, also known as blue asbestos. Experts consider crocidolite asbestos to be one of the more dangerous varieties.

John Crane produced gaskets, seals and packing. Asbestos made these products heat-resistant and durable. Many companies used John Crane’s innovative products.

John Crane Inc. Products Containing Asbestos

List of Products Containing Asbestos
Product Name Start Year End Year
John Crane Braid Over Braid Asbestos Yarn 915 1970
John Crane Commercial Grade Asbestos Yarn 9810 1970
John Crane Gaskets
John Crane Houdaille
John Crane Hydraulic Packing
John Crane Ring Packing
John Crane Rope Packing
03. Occupational Exposure

John Crane Inc. and Occupational Exposure

John Crane may have caused occupational asbestos exposure across many industries. Jobsites like factories, oil refineries and warehouses used John Crane products. Family members of people who worked with these products may have faced secondary asbestos exposure.

John Crane supplied its asbestos-containing products to the transportation industry, boiler manufacturers and many others. Starting in the 1920s, Crane provided components to the U.S. Navy.

People who manufactured or worked with these products may be at risk for mesothelioma. Some John Crane products containing asbestos may still be present in older equipment.

04. Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos Litigation Against John Crane Inc.

In its parent company’s 2022 annual report, John Crane stated it has had 149 successful lawsuits and settlements against them. Award amounts currently total roughly $175 million. Several mesothelioma patients and their families have won multi-million dollar verdicts against John Crane.

As of the end of 2022, John Crane was named in roughly 22,000 asbestos lawsuits.

A jury verdict from 2005 awarded $10.4 million to a former Navy fireman’s apprentice and his wife. The man served in the Navy for 27 years. During his career, he often came into contact with asbestos-containing products. John Crane appealed, but the appeals court upheld the decision.

In a 2011 case, a jury awarded a former U.S. Navy boiler worker $2.4 million in compensation. The Navy veteran spent 10 years aboard ships between 1961 and 1971. He maintained and cleaned boilers, pumps and valves and later developed mesothelioma.

John Crane has not filed for bankruptcy, and the company does not have an asbestos trust fund. Victims continue to receive compensation from lawsuits filed directly against this asbestos company.

If you or a loved one has developed an asbestos-related disease, contact an asbestos attorney. These lawyers have the experience and resources that may help you receive compensation. Mesothelioma lawyers can also file VA claims for veterans.