May 10, 2006: Owens Corning Reaches $5.2 Billion Asbestos Settlement
Owens Corning, a manufacturer of fiberglass insulation products, reached a settlement agreement in which it will pay $5.2 billion to asbestos victims and their families, as part of the company's effort to exit bankruptcy. Read the Press Release from Owens Corning.
August 4, 2005: $4.5 Million Award in Louisiana Asbestos Case
A Louisiana jury awarded $4.5 million to the family of a deceased paper mill worker who died of lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos on the job. A noteworthy aspect of this case is that the jury found the mill owner liable for harm to the worker that might have developed prior to 1952, although the state of Louisiana did not recognize asbestos as an occupational hazard until that year.
March 18, 2004: Asbestos Company Cannot Sue Tobacco Companies
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that Owens Corning, a company that has faced multiple lawsuits over asbestos exposure, cannot bring suit against tobacco companies for contributing to the poor health of workers harmed by asbestos. Owens Corning had sought to recover billions of dollars it had paid out to injured workers, but the court decided the evidence did not show that the tobacco companies were directly responsible for injury to the workers.
March 4, 2004: Study Finds 10,000 Asbestos-Related Deaths Each Year
The non-profit organization Environmental Working Group released a study which found that 10,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-related illnesses. The study also concluded that, while the number of annual deaths from asbestos has climbed steadily since the late 1970's, the peak of asbestos-related illnesses -- including mesothelioma and asbestosis -- might not be reached in the U.S. for a number of decades.
February 5, 2004: FDA Approves First Mesothelioma Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for use in treatment of mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer usually associated with long-term asbestos exposure. The new drug, Alimta (pemetrexed disodium) is to be used in combination with cisplatin, and will be distributed by Eli Lilly and Company.