Kaiser Aluminum was founded in 1946 by Henry J. Kaiser. Kaiser became involved in the aluminum industry, including the mining, refining, manufacturing and fabrication of aluminum products. The company operates in the United States, Canada and in Wales. Eventually, Kaiser narrowed its business to focus on aluminum products for major suppliers and manufacturers. Kaiser produced about 500 million pounds of aluminum each year.
For decades, Kaiser Aluminum used asbestos liberally in the products it manufactured for aerospace and automobiles. Additionally, Kaiser contracted with the United States Navy to provide fiberboard and insulation for naval vessels.
As early as the 1920s, physicians recognized that exposure to asbestos caused disease, and asbestosis was named and described in 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, Kaiser 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, Kaiser’s victims might live for decades without knowing of the deadly injury they sustained. Accordingly, many Kaiser employees and customers were placed in serious danger due to contact with asbestos.
In 2001, Kaiser entered bankruptcy protection due to the volume of claims from injuries caused by exposure to asbestos. The company was able to emerge from bankruptcy in 2006 and established the Kaiser Asbestos Trust Fund to resolve claims from asbestos injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by Kaiser, it is important that you contact The Gori Law Firm immediately for more information on your rights.