With 156 manufacturing facilities worldwide, Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) Company has grown in leaps and bounds since it was founded in 1883 by Captain John Ford and millionaire industrialist John Pitcairn, Jr. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the corporation’s net sales for 2014 was a whopping $15.4 billion and PPG ranks at 190 on the Fortune 500 list.
The company has obviously done well during its 130 years of business. On the other hand, the employees of PPG haven’t fared so well. While working for PPG, a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass, many workers were exposed to all sorts of toxins.
Consider the products they manufactured. Paints and coatings are full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), glass and fiberglass contain dangerous chemicals as well, and in the process of making many of the materials that PPG made/makes, employees were exposed to asbestos-containing materials.
Products that contain asbestos were abundantly used from the early days of the 20th century until the late 1970s. Mostly, they functioned as insulators, often wrapped around pipes, electrical wires, generators, boilers, and other machinery that functions at high temperatures. Such insulation could prevent fires and help workers avoid burns.
But asbestos was also used because of its durability and was often added to cement, paint, pastes, wallboard, and literally hundreds more products that PPG employees may have used on a regular basis.
Though the U.S. government issued stern rulings about the use of asbestos in 1977, for many employees – including those at PPG – the removal of asbestos from the workplace was just too late.
As the 20th century progressed into its later decades, workers began to be diagnosed with severe respiratory problems ranging from minor scarring of the lungs to asbestosis to mesothelioma, a cancer that has been historically difficult to treat and carries a very grim prognosis, with only a single-digit percentage making it to that all-important five-year survival mark.
Pittsburgh Plate Glass also owns a 50 percent interest in Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, another glass company. Workers at Pittsburgh Corning suffered similarly to those who were employed at PPG during the decades of asbestos use.
In 2013, as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan, PPG and its insurers agreed to fund a trust in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars to resolve all future personal injury claims against PPG for asbestos exposure from products manufactured, distributed or sold by Pittsburgh Corning.
That provides a clear picture of just how many Pittsburgh-area workers have been marred by asbestos exposure. Yet PPG continues to thrive. Thriving is something mesothelioma sufferers can’t expect. Their lives have been changed due to negligent exposure to asbestos while on the job.
These victims inhaled asbestos during their regular duties as workers at PPG and no one ever warned them that their health was in danger. So who’s to blame for their disease?
If you were employed by PPG and now have mesothelioma, a local Pittsburgh-area attorney can ascertain who’s responsible for your pain and suffering.
Schedule an appointment today for more information and learn how you can earn the compensation you and your family deserve.