The Plibrico Company was established in 1914 with the mission of producing monolithic refractory products. That meant their finished items would be one complete piece, usually made out of a material that is difficult to work with and very resistant to extremely high temperatures. Because Plibrico needed to find materials that were able to withstand a great deal of heat, they turned to a naturally occurring mineral called asbestos.
Asbestos can survive most any temperature and is even resistant to fire. This made it a highly prized material for industrial products that would be used in extreme environments. Pilbrico included asbestos in many of their items for years, but eventually it was found to be a health hazard. The material produces small dust particles that can be inhaled and lodge in the respiratory system with ease. Once there, the particles can promote the decay of healthy tissue, and develop into asbestos cancer, also known as mesothelioma. The mesothelioma survival rate is very low, and victims have filed amultitude of personal injury claims against companies that manufactured items which contained asbestos.
The reason why there is a short life expectancy once diagnosed is because it can sometimes take up to 40 years for the disease to develop after exposure to asbestos. This is also known as a long latency period. While asbestos exposure is the number one cause of mesothelioma, smoking combined with asbestos exposure can increase the chances of developing the disease. Mesothelioma treatment by stage can vary, but the chances of a patient going into remission with later stage mesothelioma are low. Often, chemotherapy with Alimta®, Onconase and Navelbine will be used to treat patients as well other surgical techniqes like mesothelioma pleurocentesis, pleurodesis and pneumonectomy. See our mesothelioma treatment guide or our resources page for more information and place to get support.
Plibrico was served with many lawsuits and made payoffs to victims who had become ill or lost loved ones following exposure to their products. These claims continued to pour in for years, leading the company to eventually file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. By 2002, Plibrico executives had filed and set out on a company reorganization to relieve the company from the financial strain they were under.
One result of the bankruptcy was the formation of the Plibrico Asbestos Trust (PAT) in March of 2006. The Trust set up several basic, federally approved policies to deal with all current and future claims. Their goal was to deal with the claims on a first come, first served basis and to try to provide a fair amount of compensation based on the severity of each claim. Despite these goals, history has shown that claimants tend to receive less of a pay out after a company has gone through bankruptcy proceedings.
The PAT continues to operate today, and to review all incoming lawsuits. Plibrico has manufacturing facilities across the nation and continues to provide a wide selection of heat resistant products to their customer base.