Johns-Manville Corporation was formed in 1901. The company offered a line of automotive sheet backing, asbestos cement, asbestos-based insulation and roofing materials.
The company grew rapidly during both World Wars because it was able to contract with the federal government, which used asbestos-based insulation for manufacturing, in shipyards and on naval fleets. Additionally, Johns-Manville Corporation produced fiberglass insulation and asbestos cement pipe. The company developed an international presence and grew rapidly.
As early as the 1920s, physicians recognized that exposure to asbestos caused severe sickness when asbestosis was identified by British medical journals. 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, John-Manville chose to protect its substantial profit margins rather than discontinue use of the mineral.
In 1933, Johns-Manville began to settle worker’s compensation claims of its employees that arose from asbestos exposure in manufacturing facilities. Nevertheless, Johns-Manville used asbestos until 1985. Some products that used asbestos were asbestos-paper, block insulation, cement board, cements, cloth, electrical products, gaskets, felt, floor tile, packing seals, pipe covering, piping, roofing products, siding and wallboard. Thus, Johns-Manville placed the health and safety of its workers, naval crews, and customers in grave danger. Even worse, Johns-Manville helped fund the cover-up of the truth that asbestos is dangerous.
In 1970, Johns-Manville formed an organization called the Asbestos Information North America (AIA) and provided the group with a $300,000 annual budget. The purpose of the group was to produce faux-scientific studies to undermine research, which had shown the danger of asbestos to human beings. Thus, the company attempted to conceal the danger of asbestos by deliberately rebutting science with disinformation.
In 1981 the company filed for bankruptcy protection due to the asbestos-based injuries it caused. Unlike most company’s entering bankruptcy, however, Johns-Manville was not insolvent. The company reported $1.1 billion of profits that year. The company was seeking to shield itself from the claims of individuals whom it had harmed for decades. In 1988 the company emerged from bankruptcy. A trust was created to compensate future asbestos injury claims. If you or a loved one has been injured by Johns-Manville, it is important that you contact The Gori Law Firm immediately for more information on your rights.