In 1938, Owens Corning, formerly known as Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation, was established from the joint partnership of two major American glasswork companies, Corning Glass Works and Owens-Illinois. Owens Corning, which is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, was the first company to manufacture fiberglass insulation. This material quickly became the most popular form of home insulation, and by the end of the company’s first full year of operation, Owens Corning employed 600 workers with reported sales of $2.5 million. Years of expansion followed, and Owens Corning established dozens of manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.
In 1956, Owens Corning created its pink-colored fiberglass insulation, which is still considered the company’s staple. In 1980, the company acquired the Pink Panther cartoon character as a company mascot in order to advertise their PINK® insulation. This marketing tool was a great success and by the mid-1980s, Owens Corning established itself as a world leader in fiberglass insulation.
In June 1976, Owens Corning established its Delmar plant in Feura Bush, New York. The Delmar plant is one of thirteen Owens Corning glass insulation plants in America and has over 350 employees. Owens Corning is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of fiberglass, and the company has become a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. Owens Corning has been a Fortune® 500 Company for 59 consecutive years and has over 18,000 employees throughout 28 countries.
Up until the mid-1970s, Owens Corning manufactured and distributed several products that contained asbestos. These products included asbestos-containing insulating cements, roofing and siding panels and fiberglass panels. Most notably, Owens Corning distributed and manufactured Kaylo® pipe covering and block insulation from 1953 to 1973. Laborers who manufactured these products were exposed to asbestos dust and fibers when they cut, sawed or manipulated asbestos-containing materials. Inhaling dust and particles from the manipulation of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases. Owens Corning has faced major medical liabilities due to the company's use of asbestos in its products, which ultimately led to the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. In 2006, Owens Corning emerged from Chapter 11.
Owens Corning’s asbestos-containing insulation was commonly used to cover water, chemical and steam lines, as well as boilers, which were utilized in commercial, residential and industrial buildings nationwide. Owens Corning asbestos-containing pipe insulation was widely used in United States Naval vessels. Navy veterans, plumbers, steamfitters, boilermakers, insulators and Navy personnel who were involved in the maintenance and repair of Owens Corning asbestos pipe insulation are also at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer because of their exposure to asbestos materials.
The attorneys at Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC, have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos-containing products manufactured by Owens Corning. If you or a loved one were once employed by Owens Corning or applied or removed asbestos-containing products manufactured by Owens Corning and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.