01. History of Asbestos Use
Sid Harvey Industries History of Asbestos Use
- Years in Operation: 1931 – present
- Location: Garden City, New York
- Production: Heating and air conditioning equipment
- Asbestos Trust: No
Sid Harvey Industries was founded in 1931 by Sidney W. Harvey in Hempstead, New York. When the company was founded, it sold heating equipment. Harvey predicted coal stove sales would decline, and he positioned his company to be the future of alternate ways to heat the home, such as oil burners.
As demand for these products grew through the early 1930s, Sid Harvey Industries began to supply and manufacture replacement parts. In 1935, the company opened a heating part manufacturing and repair plant in Valley Stream, New York to provide inexpensive replacement parts.
Sid Harvey Industries’ unique business model allowed it to stay profitable through the Great Depression. The company began to improve sales after the Great Depression and World War II ended. Sid Harvey Industries also acquired several smaller companies in the 1960s and 1970s. These acquisitions moved Sid Harvey Industries into new product fields, such as air conditioning and refrigeration.
Records confirm this era of product growth also accompanied asbestos usage. A court case shows asbestos products were sold by Sid Harvey Industries from at least 1964 to 1977. By expanding its product line, Sid Harvey Industries also exposed more people to asbestos components.
Sid Harvey Industries bought these asbestos-containing products from other asbestos companies. Sid Harvey Industries sourced many materials from these companies for added heat and electrical resistance in products and its manufacturing facilities. One of these supplying companies was Combustion Engineering, a manufacturer of asbestos insulation and cement materials from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.
By 1988, Sid Harvey Industries had more than 100 branches across the United States. Today, the company still operates many branches and continues to supply refrigeration, air conditioning and heating machinery. As a result of its past asbestos use, Sid Harvey Industries is named in asbestos exposure claims.
02. Asbestos Products
Sid Harvey Industries Asbestos Products
Sid Harvey Industries was a wholesale supplier of heating and air-conditioning equipment. The company’s heating and cooling products contained asbestos components.
The company did not manufacture asbestos products, but sourced them from other asbestos companies. Asbestos was often used in machinery for its heat- and electrical-resistant properties.
Due to these properties, the mineral was often used in cement, cloth and insulation. Sid Harvey Industries sold several types of cement, including dry insulation cement, furnace cement and refractory cement.
Sid Harvey Industries used asbestos-containing material including, but not limited to:
- Asbestos cement
- Asbestos paste
- Asbestos pads
- Asbestos retort
- Asbestos rope
- Dry insulation cement
- Furnace cement
- Mica back fill
- Refractory cement
- Rope packing
- Stik-Tite cement
03. Occupational Exposure
Sid Harvey Industries and Occupational Exposure
Sid Harvey Industries sold multiple products and replacement parts that may have contained asbestos. The company’s wide range of heating, cooling, residential and industrial parts exposed thousands of individuals to the mineral.
Many of the company’s asbestos products were contained in internal mechanisms. As a result, workers responsible for repair or maintenance were likely to experience occupational exposure.
Industrial workers who used Sid Harvey Industries products reported difficulty removing asbestos-containing rope packing and insulation. The workers noted the products needed to be scraped away, causing airborne asbestos fibers that could easily be inhaled.
04. Asbestos Litigation
Asbestos Litigation Against Sid Harvey Industries
Many people were exposed to asbestos as a result of Sid Harvey Industries’ asbestos product sales. These individuals often file claims against the company for developing asbestos-related diseases as a result of contact with the company’s products.
Sid Harvey Industries exposed workers from a variety of industries to asbestos, including steamfitter Lawrence Foreman.
Foreman worked on industrial and commercial construction sites from 1958 to 1983. He frequently came into contact with asbestos products during the course of his work. These products were supplied by numerous companies, including Sid Harvey Industries.
As a result of this exposure, Foreman was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed a lawsuit against 57 asbestos defendants in 2013. Many of the defendants were dismissed or settled with Foreman. However, Sid Harvey Industries went to trial, among other companies.
During trial, a former company executive confirmed Sid Harvey Industries sold asbestos-containing dry cement, paste, pads and rope during the period of Foreman’s work.
An industrial hygienist expert witness also testified that Foreman’s level of exposure was “one of the highest lifetime doses” he had ever seen. Though there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, higher levels further increase the chance of developing an asbestos-related disease.
Sid Harvey Industries and other companies were found responsible in varying degrees for Foreman’s asbestos exposure. The jury awarded him $6 million total, of which Sid Harvey Industries was responsible for $4 million.
The company has not established a trust fund and pays successful claimants with its own funds.