Merck & Company is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck was founded in 1668 by the Merck family and was nationalized by the United States government in 1917, during World War I. Merck is most known for being the first pharmaceutical company to manufacture morphine. In 1953, Merck merged with Sharpe & Dohme Inc., a pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia. This merger made Merck & Co the largest pharmaceutical company in the United States, and it has since established numerous offices and factories in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states throughout the country. Merck publishes Merck Manual - a medical reference book and has a total equity of over $48.6 billion dollars. As of 2013, Merck employs roughly 76,000 employees in 120 countries. To date, there are 31 Merck factories worldwide.
In the 1950s, the communities of Danville and Riverside, Pennsylvania, merged after Merck & Co. agreed that it would treat the community’s sewage if the pharmaceutical could build its plant near the Susquehanna River, located in-between these two boroughs. The communities agreed, and the Danville-Riverside Merck plant was built in 1950. It became commonly referred to as the Cherokee plant. Asbestos-containing materials, such as cement pipes, were used during the construction of the Merck Danville-Riverside plant. Asbestos-containing cement pipes, known as Bondstrand, were used to carry waste materials. These pipes were roughly 40 feet long with a twelve inch diameter. Workers used power tools to cut the asbestos pipes, which led to the inhalation of harmful asbestos dust and fibers. Inhaling dust and particles from asbestos put workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Many workers were unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos until years after their exposure to asbestos materials.
Many laborers who worked on construction projects for Merck in Danville-Riverside, Pennsylvania, may have been exposed to asbestos and could be at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer.
If you or a loved one were once employed at Merck & Co in Danville-Riverside, Pennsylvania, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.