Were you exposed to asbestos during your work at the International Paper Company? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, you could be entitled to compensation, including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please keep reading to learn more.
International Paper Company started as a 17-company merger in the late 1800s that eventually owned more than one million acres of timberland. Throughout the 1920s and 1930, the company had major expansions of operations in the southern US where it was easy to grow large numbers of trees for their paper mills. As part of their expansion, International Paper Company acquired other companies that had used asbestos in some of their paper mill operations.
The asbestos contained in many International Paper Factories led to many asbestos lawsuits filed against them. At this time, the company has been able to settle its many asbestos lawsuits by paying out of pocket instead of turning to an asbestos trust. (Mesothelioma.com)
Asbestos was once a vital mineral for the paper industry, including the International Paper Company because it was cheap and easily available. It was very useful in paper manufacturing because it was highly heat and fire-resistant, electrically resistant, chemically resistant, and lightweight.
For a paper mill to operate safely, it is vital to prevent fire because it can spread quickly among huge rolls of commercial paper and paper pulp. Asbestos would be used in the construction of many International Paper Company mills. Insulation, flooring, roofing, walls and other materials in the paper mills usually contained asbestos. There also was probably asbestos in the boilers of the mills, in pipes, and insulation. Power plants used by International Paper also had asbestos in valves, gaskets, insulation, and seals.
International Paper Company and Asbestos Exposure
International Paper Company did not have asbestos in their paper but their facilities were full of the dangerous toxin. Many paper companies until the 1970s used heavy amounts of asbestos insulation to prevent dangerous fires from erupting. (Mesothelioma.net)
It is known that International Paper Company used a lot of asbestos insulation in their floors and walls. So as to prevent a fire from spreading, the paper mill also used corrugated asbestos cement roof shingles and siding. At least 400,000 square feet of roof tiles containing asbestos were taken out during a renovation project at the company’s Hudson River Mill.
Some of the products associated with this company that contained asbestos were asbestos siding, micarta, and asbestos cement roofing shingles.
Hundreds of International Paper Company Workers Suffer Asbestos Exposure
Many employees of the company may have been heavily exposed to asbestos as they worked around asbestos insulation that was damaged. In the 1980s, a study was done by the International Paper Workers Union that analyzed diseased related to asbestos in 270 former employees of International Paper Company. The researchers found asbestos-related diseases in more than 50% of former employees.
But certain occupations at the paper company were more likely to result in contamination than others. Asbestos insulation is most likely to become hazardous when it is being cut, broken, or manipulated, which creates plumes of invisible airborne asbestos fibers. Construction workers, insulation installers, and others who were responsible for building or tearing down International Paper Company buildings were at the highest risk of exposure.
Some of the workers who were at the highest risk of asbestos exposure at International Paper were:
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- Drywall installers
- Insulation contractors
- Maintenance workers
While it was not made by International Paper Company, exposure to micarta, produced by Champion Company, is also a concern for workers who were employed by International Paper Company. People who manufactured, shipped or installed asbestos-containing micarta also can develop asbestos-related diseases.
Dozens of Lawsuits Pending Against International Paper Company for Asbestos Exposure
International Paper Company has been named in many asbestos lawsuits that relate to the asbestos used in their paper mills, as well as for the asbestos-containing products that are manufactured and delivered by Champion International.
Many former employees have filed asbestos lawsuits and class action lawsuits against International Paper Company after they were diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Some of the examples of class action lawsuits filed against the company for asbestos exposure include:
- A widow named Nellie T, a widow of an ex-International Paper Company employee filed a class-action lawsuit against the corporation.
- Her husband worked at the Moss Point, MS International Paper Company plant.
- Her husband worked for the company in maintenance from 1953 to 1997.
- He came down with mesothelioma and died of it in 2014.
Another case was filed against International Paper Company by John C, a paper mill employee from 1951 until 1972. John C. worked at the Roanoke Rapids NC paper mill for 20 years as a machine operator and then as a foreman. He was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease in 2000 from asbestos exposure he had at International Paper Company. He died from asbestosis two years later. His family was awarded an undisclosed amount of compensation for his death.
International Paper Company continues to be sued for exposing past workers to asbestos. But the company has so far handled the claims without filing for bankruptcy and or beginning an asbestos trust fund. The company has funds available to compensation asbestos exposure victims, so it is smart to talk to a licensed mesothelioma attorney if you were exposed to asbestos while working for this company.
International Paper Company needlessly exposed thousands of employees in its paper mills to dangerous materials that contained asbestos and failed to inform anyone for years. Employees of the organization may have been exposed unknowingly to asbestos for many years and never knew there were at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
If you were employed by International Paper Company and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced mesothelioma attorney. You may be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.