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Kaiser Aluminum

Kaiser Aluminum Company Background

Kaiser AluminumAs the name implies Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Company produces aluminum and chemical based products, largely for the aerospace, automotive and engineering industries. The company was first established in 1946 by Henry J. Kaiser. When it was founded, Kaiser leased property from the US Government, but eventually they purchased the land, and over time their empire expanded to include 10 separate facilities in the United States and one in Canada.

Though the company grew into a major conglomerate, in 2002 Kaiser put in a plea for bankruptcy protection and a complete reorganization of the company. This was driven by a multitude of lawsuits that were brought against the company from people who had been made sick because of the products produced by Kaiser. These products contained asbestos a naturally occurring mineral that has been known to cause mesothelioma, a form of asbestos cancer.

Kaiser Aluminum continues to produce products today without the use of asbestos. The company focuses on the production of aluminum and industrial items made from aluminum.

Asbestos Containing Products Manufactured by Kaiser Aluminum

From a small contracting company, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser grew a conglomerate whose products were used in a variety of trades and industries including shipbuilding, aluminum, concrete, and construction. Some of the Kaiser companies sold products, especially refractory and insulation products which contained asbestos.

Provided in the chart below are the asbestos-containing products manufactured by Kaiser Aluminum from 1959 to 1977:

Kaiser Aluminum Product Years Manufactured
Kaiser Vee Block Castable Insulation 1959-74
Kaiser K-N Plastic Chrome Ore 1974-77
Kaiser KK-N Plastic Chrome Ore 1974-77
Kaiser Blast Furnace Castable Insulating Cement 1959-74
Kaiser KR 1202/1204 M/C Brick – Metal Encased Firebrick 1974-78
Kaiser Coelex 60 Unitab Brick 1974-78
Kaiser M-Block Insulation 1959-72
Kaiser Super D Block Insulation (6% Amosite) 1971-74
Kaiser Hard Top Finishing Cement – Mud 1959-72
Kaiser Plastic Insulation Cement 1959-72
Kaiser Mineral Wool Cement 1959-72
Mirawal Building Products – “Birdsboard” panel and siding board with asbestos cement core 1968-77
Limited sales of raw asbestos fiber to 5 U.S. Companies located in NY, NJ, PA and TX 1968

Asbestos Exposure and the Mesothelioma Connection

Asbestos was used for a variety of industrial purposes until it was recognized as being a toxic substance. It is made up of microscopic fibers that cling together, but can break apart and float in the air, where they may be inhaled by anyone who gets too close. The fibers are responsible for damaging the respiratory systems of people who have breathed them in and many of them are eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.

The mesothelioma survival rate tends to be low because there is no cure for the disease. There are different mesothelioma cell types that may be diagnosed including papillary mesothelioma and sarcomatoid mesothelioma but the prognosis is generally the same for each. Treatment at top mesothelioma clinics may involve chemotherapy with drugs like Alimta®, Navelbine or Onconase as well as other treatments like extrapleural pneumonectomy. Our mesothelioma treatment guide provides more helpful information for those who have been diagnosed with this disease.

Kaiser Aluminum, Bankruptcy and Asbestos Lawsuits

By 2001, Kaiser had more than 112,000 personal injury claims still pending. They had already paid out several hundred million to plaintiffs, and the list of claims seemed to have no end. The decision to file for bankruptcy was finally reached in 2002, and it was designed to protect the company and all of its subsidiaries.

Unsettled claims would not be forgotten following the bankruptcy process. A trust fund was put in place to determine which claims were brought forth by people who had genuinely been affected and made ill by products created by Kaiser. These claims would be settled and paid in amounts that were determined by the trust representatives. Future claims are expected, as it often takes many years for symptoms of asbestos related diseases to develop. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe that you were exposed to Kaiser Aluminum asbestos containing products, a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to file a claim with the Kaiser Asbestos Trust on your behalf.

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