From roughly 1965 to 1985, the company W.R. Grace operated an exfoliation facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. The plant received shipments of vermiculite, a substance that contains asbestos, which workers were responsible for breaking into smaller pieces through heat – a process known as exfoliation. Exfoliation causes much heavier levels of asbestos exposure than many other processes.
The New Orleans facility is now abandoned, but many workers were exposed to lung cancer-causing asbestos during their tenure there. During the 1990s, there was a high concentration of asbestos-related claims against W.R. Grace from former plant workers and nearby residents. Some other claimants included people who handled the products that were made using W.R. Grace’s vermiculite.
W.R. Grace would receive shipments of asbestos-containing vermiculite from Libby, Montana. After exfoliation, the remaining vermiculite product would be used to manufacture various types of insulation, like attic insulation and masonry insulation. It could also be used as a spray for fireproofing purposes. These products are estimated to have contained anywhere from 10 to 19% asbestos.
There are records dating as far back as the 1970s showing that W.R. Grace executives knew that their product because it contained asbestos, was causing workers and nearby residents to get sick. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even charged W.R. Grace with obstructing their cleanup efforts at the New Orleans site. Ultimately, the government ordered the company to pay $54 million to clean up the vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana – the town from where the New Orleans plant received their shipments.
W.R. Grace has established a trust fund for those who may have asbestos-related claims due to exposure at the Louisiana facility or in any other capacity. You can learn more about Louisiana mesothelioma claims or contact our attorneys directly for a free review of your case!