Background and Overview
The Synkoloid Company was a division of the Artra Group that produced a variety of patching products such as Spackling Paste, Tuff Patch Texture and Wood Patch. In 1981, The Muralo Company entered into a deal with Artra that ended with Muralo owning most of the Synkoloid divisions. They also inadvertently inherited a large number of personal injury lawsuits when the deal was finalized.
Synkoloid Company (Artra Group) Asbestos Containing Products
Many of the products manufactured from the late 1940’s to mid 1970’s by the Synkoloid Company contained a naturally occurring material called asbestos. Following its initial discovery, asbestos quickly became one of the primary ingredients in several industrial and commercial based products. Provided below is a list of the Synkoloid that were made with asbestos:
- Triple Duty Joint Compound
- Prime 'N Fill T
- Surface Conditioner
- Vinyl Prep Mix
- Flexi Patch T
- Stucco & Cement Patch
- Vinyl Tex-Wall
- Vinyl Prime 'N Fill
- Vinyl Roof Paint
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure from Synkoloid Company Products
Asbestos was later found to be highly toxic, and exposure to the material has been linked to respiratory diseases and asbestos cancer, also known as mesothelioma. The survival rate for mesothelioma is low as the disease can often take several years to fully develop and has likely reached advanced stages. There is a mesothelioma vaccine currently available but there is no cure for the disease. As a result, victims often face a short life expectancy. Treatment is available at mesothelioma cancer clinics and often involves chemotherapy with drugs like Alimta®, Onconase or Navelbine and / or surgical intervention with mesothelioma pleurocentesis or pneumonectomy. To help those who have been diagnosed with this disease, we have made a mesothelioma treatment guide and resources page available with helpful links and additional information.
Occupations and Industries where Asbestos Exposure was Likely
Many of our Nation’s tradespeople who worked in a variety of occupations and industries were exposed to asbestos from Synkoloid products. Because the majority of products manufactured by Synkoloid were used in surface finishing types of work, those people most at risk for asbestos exposure from these products were carpenters, drywall finishers, painters, sheetrock installers, tapers and plasterers. These individuals worked in a broad cross-section of industries and trades such as construction, manufacturing, insulation, aerospace and the refinery industries. Men and women serving in the military were also at risk including those working at Navy shipyards.
The Artra Asbestos Trust
As instances of illnesses began to be diagnosed and later linked to the products made by Synkoloid, claims began to be filed against the company. Mesothelioma attorneys sued the Artra Group on behalf of the victims of these health issues, and soon there were more than 46,000 plaintiffs filing against the company. By 2002 Artra had declared bankruptcy.
As part of the reorganization policy that Artra entered into with the United States Bankruptcy Court, they established the Artra Asbestos Trust in 2007. The trustees were given specific procedures that they had to follow in order to properly review and determine the outcome of each one. Cases that were found to be valid were paid out according to the severity of the claim. A filing period for all claims was set to begin on November 1, 2007.
When Artra first declared bankruptcy, many lawyers directed their claims to The Muralo Co. In an attempt to get out from under these lawsuits, Muralo followed suit and petitioned the Bankruptcy Court for protection in 2003. This allowed the company to resolve any outstanding litigation and continue to operate on its own merits and as the new owner of the Synkoloid Company. All unfinished claims were eventually redirected to the Artra Asbestos Trust to be officially settled.