Biggest asbestos maker files for bankruptcy following lawsuit

January 1st, 2006

The company, which previously sought bankruptcy protection in 2000, is offering plaintiffs cash and stock options instead of a long and costly asbestos lawsuit. Watching the matter closely are more than 70 other companies, all of which face major financial losses due to the growing number of asbestos lawsuits.

Even if Owens Corning’s plan is approved in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the company remains in business, it is likely to face more asbestos lawsuits in the future.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was used until the 1970s in fireproofing, ship and car making, building materials and other common items, has been linked to the development of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that can take as long as 20-50 years to be manifested. Mesothelioma lawyers have been filing suits on behalf of clients for even longer than that.

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