The United Refining Company was founded in 1902 by Harry Logan in Warren, Pennsylvania. The company refines gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and asphalt at its Warren oil refinery, which is located on Pennsylvania Avenue along the shore of the Allegheny River. The gasoline and diesel fuel produced at the United Refining Company refinery is sold at the company’s Kwik Fill, Red Apple and Country Fair locations throughout Western New York and Western Pennsylvania. The United Refining Company has a maximum processing capacity of 70,000 barrels of oil per day, and it employs around 4,000 workers.
Prior to the late 1970s, asbestos was used extensively at the Warren, Pennsylvania refinery. Pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation contained asbestos. During maintenance procedures, workers removed old, worn insulation in order to repair and maintain equipment. After the maintenance procedures were completed, new insulation was applied. Removing and applying asbestos-containing insulation released asbestos fibers and dust. Workers who handled asbestos-containing materials, or those who worked in the vicinity of where these materials were removed and applied, are at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Asbestos-containing gaskets were also utilized at United Refining Company in order to ensure a tight seal between pipe flanges, pumps, valves and tanks. When repairs were performed on the piping systems at United Refining Company, gaskets were scraped from the flanges with a knife. New gaskets were fabricated from sheets of asbestos-containing gasket material or were purchased prefabricated. When workers scraped and fabricated gaskets, asbestos dust was emitted. Many workers were not aware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust and carried on their work without masks or protective gear.
Inhaling dust and particles from the application and maintenance of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing serious health problems. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one once worked at the United Refining Company oil refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.