Combustion Engineering was formed in 1912. The company initially manufactured stokers and steam boilers. The company was able to stay profitable even during the Great Depression by incorporating new technologies, such as the production and refining of petrochemicals. Additionally, Combustion Engineering developed a marine propulsion system — 10 — which was more advanced than its competitors. Because of these innovations the federal government contracted with Combustion Engineering to supply boilers, pipe covering and insulating cement to the United States Navy.
Unfortunately, Combustion Engineering used asbestos in large measures to manufacture products. As early as the 1920s, physicians recognized that exposure to asbestos caused severe sickness when asbestosis was identified by British medical journals. Illnesses, such as asbestosis and the aggressive cancer mesothelioma, are caused by exposure to asbestos. At the same time, insurance companies in the United States and Canada stopped selling life insurance to asbestos workers. Moreover, safer substitutes for most asbestos uses were known as early as the 1930s. Nevertheless, Combustion Engineering chose to protect its substantial profit margins rather than discontinue use of the mineral.
Additionally, the asbestos fibers remain in a person’s lungs for years and symptoms may not develop for decades. Thus, Combustion Engineering’s victims live for decades without knowing of the deadly injury they sustained. Accordingly, the men and women who worked for Combustion Engineering, the companies who bought the products, and the men and women in the Navy serving their country were exposed to poisonous asbestos. Furthermore, workers in many other occupations such as, boiler technicians, carpenters, mechanics, foundry workers, furnace workers, insulators, longshore men, pipe-fitters, steelworkers and railroad workers were also exposed.
The company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection in 2003. After emerging from restructuring, a trust of $1.44 billion was created to compensate the victims of Combustion Engineering’s use of asbestos. If you or a loved one has been injured by Combustion Engineering, it is important that you contact The Gori Law Firm immediately for more information on your rights.