Former mine owner pays millions to close asbestos case.
Asbestos exposure claims related to a former W. R. Grace & Co. mine have been settled for $18.5 million. In the small town of Libby, a mine that was in operation for several decades exposed not only workers but also residents to dangerous levels of the hazardous mineral fibers. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs and lead to serious health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The settlement, announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will go towards compensating individuals who were harmed by exposure from the mine, as well as funding a range of environmental clean-up projects in the area, including the removal of asbestos-containing materials from buildings and homes.
The former mine owner cooperated fully with the EPA’s investigation and has agreed to take significant steps to mitigate the risks posed by asbestos in the community, such as funding a health study to assess the extent of the harm caused by the mine and providing medical treatment for those affected.
This settlement is a significant victory for the EPA, and for the individuals and families in the town of Libby who were affected by the mine’s asbestos emissions. Asbestos-related illnesses have been diagnosed in many residents of the town, and the settlement will provide the compensation they deserve.
The payout serves as a reminder of the importance of proper asbestos management and the serious consequences that can result from neglecting to do so. Companies need to take the necessary precautions to protect workers and communities. The settlement also serves as a reminder that companies must be held accountable for their actions and that victims of asbestos exposure deserve fair compensation.
The EPA has already spent millions of dollars on cleaning up the asbestos contamination in Libby, but this settlement will provide additional funding for further clean-up efforts and medical treatment for those affected.
W.R. Grace was founded in 1854 in Peru by William Russell Grace. Now considered an American chemical business based in Columbia, Maryland, the company produces specialty chemicals and specialty materials in 2001, Grace filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, facing over 65,000 asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits involving over 129,000 claims. As part of the reorganization plan approved by the court, all asbestos-related claims were handled by an asbestos personal injury trust or a separate asbestos property damage trust. Trust funds are still available today.
Until 1989, asbestos was commonly used in construction and industrial materials in the United States. However, it was largely banned in the U.S. after this time when the health risks became public knowledge. It is important to note that asbestos-related illnesses can take decades to develop, so even if someone was exposed to asbestos many years ago, they may still be at risk of developing serious health problems. It is crucial for individuals who may have been exposed to be aware of signs of disease and to take action to protect their health.