Monro Muffler Brake Inc., was founded in Rochester, New York, in 1957 by Charles J. August. Initially, Monro was a franchise of another automotive service company, Midas Muffler. As service needs evolved, Mr. August expanded his business to include brake repair and other automotive services. In 1966, Mr. August ended his franchise agreement with Midas and launched Monro Muffler with his brother, Burton S. August, and Sheldon Lane. The company was formed as a small chain of automotive service stores, and it was named after Monroe County in Rochester, New York. By the late 1970s, the Monro chain included twenty stores. By 1984, the company operated 59 stores mostly throughout upstate New York. In 1991, Monro went public and began trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol MNRO. Today, Monro Muffler operates over 1,000 stores throughout 24 states, and its corporate headquarters are currently located in Rochester, New York.
Monro Muffler provides an array of automotive services, including brake repair and maintenance, muffler and exhaust systems, tune-ups, inspection services and tire replacement. Up until the 1990s, most passenger car and truck brake linings contained high concentrations of chrysotile asbestos, a carcinogenic fiber that is potentially deadly when inhaled. Because brake pads, linings and shoes wear out and require frequent replacement, mechanics who replaced and repaired braking systems on motor vehicles are put at risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. During each process of the brake pad or brake lining replacement process, asbestos fibers are released. Experts consider sanding and bench grinding of asbestos-containing brake linings to be the most significant source of asbestos exposure during the brake replacement process. Asbestos dust created from sanding and grinding brake parts has been known to linger in the air of a workspace for up to three to four days after the completion of replacement brake work.
Asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, have become more common among brake and auto mechanics. Significant exposure to asbestos occurred during the repair and maintenance of asbestos-containing brake pads and linings, clutch facings and gaskets. Even those who worked in an auto shop, where others were performing brake work, could have been exposed to harmful asbestos dust and fibers. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease as a result of your exposure working with brakes or in an auto shop, contact us regarding your legal rights.