National Gypsum began in 1925. The company sold wallboard, which was lighter and more flexible than its competitors’ products. As a result, even during the Great Depression, the company’s market share grew and doubled in size within 10 years. National Gypsum operated gypsum mines, paper mills, paint factories and asbestos cement factories across the country.
Unfortunately for the employees of National Gypsum and the company’s customers, many National Gypsum products were manufactured with asbestos. This included, adhesives, ceiling panels, cement board, cements, fireproofing materials, gaskets, pipe covering, plasters, roofing materials, shingles and wallboard. Asbestos was often used as an insulation material because it was fire-resistant, inexpensive and readily available. Many of the National Gypsum asbestos products were sold until the 1970s.
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, National Gypsum 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. National Gypsum’s victims might live for decades without knowing of the deadly injury they sustained. The use of asbestos also led to industry-wide danger for many workers. This included workers in the construction business, drywall tapers, plasterers, sheetrock hangers and insulation installers. Moreover, this asbestos was installed in both commercial and residential construction.
In 1990, National Gypsum was forced to enter bankruptcy protection due to the claims of individuals injured by National Gypsum asbestos products. In 1993, the company was able to conclude bankruptcy proceedings. As a result of those proceedings, a trust was created to compensate individuals injured by National Gypsum. If you or a loved one has been injured by National Gypsum, it is important that you contact The Gori Law Firm immediately for more information on your rights.