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  © 1996 - 2000 by
  Owens Corning

 

ASBESTOS CHRONOLOGY

1947-1952

  • Owens-Illinois (O-I) manufactures and sells Kaylo® high temperature calcium silicate insulation containing asbestos.

1952-1958

    O-I continues to manufacture and sell Kaylo®, but Owens Corning enters an agreement with O-I to distribute O-I's Kaylo®

1958-1971

  • Owens Corning buys Kaylo® assets and manufactures and sells products
  • Total profits of $8MM on total sales of $140MM
  • Although Owens Corning sold less than 1% of all asbestos-containing products, it sold 30% of certain widely used products with strong brand recognition
  • Owens Corning, Manville and others put warning labels on products

1972-1980

  • Owens Corning removes asbestos from Kaylo® but continues to make and sell calcium silicate insulation bearing the Kaylo® brand name
  • Philip Morris Vice President of R&D identifies asbestos workers as more likely to encounter serious risk by smoking
  • OSHA mandates warnings on asbestos-containing products, and issues regulations on use

1981-1984

  • Owens Corning's first lawsuits filed, but asbestos liability not perceived as significant industry issue
  • Johns Manville declares bankruptcy (40-50% share of U.S. asbestos liability)
  • Owens Corning settles with insurance carrier, and carrier takes control of defense

1985-1990

  • 35 companies and their carriers form Asbestos Claims Facility (ACF)
  • Carriers manage liability and attract more claims
  • Major ACF participants withdraw and ACF dissolves
  • Surgeon General reports asbestos workers who smoke are substantially more likely to die of lung cancer
  • Courts begin to consolidate cases for trial in Texas, New York City, Baltimore and West Virginia
  • Some former ACF members form Center for Claims Resolution (CCR)
  • Owens Corning asked by CCR to pay 35-40% of CCR costs
  • Owens Corning decides to manage its liability outside the CCR
  • Celotex declares bankruptcy and departs tort system

1990-1993

  • CCR global class action settlement (Georgine v. Amchem et. al.) -- obtains injunction
  • Eagle-Picher and others declare bankruptcy and depart tort system
  • Fibreboard global class action settlement (Ahearn v. Fibreboard) -- obtains injunction
  • Owens Corning becomes target defendant
  • First major reserve taken in 1991 for $.09B

1994-1996

  • Owens Corning adopts tougher litigation posture with plaintiffs
  • Remaining key defendants less able to pay claims
  • Owens Corning annual case filings > 30,000; settlement costs increase
  • Second major reserve taken in 1996 for $1.1B
  • PFT litigation filed

1997-1998

  • Owens Corning acquires Fibreboard
  • CCR injunction dissolved by Supreme Court (mid-1997)
  • CCR tries to salvage Georgine settlement by negotiating private deals
  • Owens Corning still target defendant
  • Judicial pressure and adverse verdicts drive up settlement values
  • National Settlement Program announced, incorporating 176,000 cases settled with more than 50 law firms

1999-2000

  • Owens Corning sells assets to raise cash for NSP payments (Falcon Foam, remaining 49 percent interest in Advanced Glassfiber Yarns and 60 percent interest in European Building Materials)
  • Supreme Court strikes down Fibreboard class action settlement (June 1999)
  • Owens Corning continues to negotiate with plaintiff attorneys, increasing the number of participating law firms to 117 (as of June 30, 2000)
  • The total number of settled initial claims under the NSP grows to 237,000
  • From early 1999 through June 30, 2000, Owens Corning resolves 6,000 claims outside the NSP
  • Lawsuits continue to be filed by firms not participating in the NSP; at the end of June, 2000, there were 27,000 asbestos personal injury claims pending outside the NSP
  • The U.S. economy softens during the first half of 2000, reducing the company's ability to generate strong earnings and cash flow
  • Total long-term debt grows to exceed $2 billion
  • Owens Corning asks to defer payments for initial and future claims; participating firms appoint an NSP Executive Committee to negotiate with the company and a deferred payment schedule is established
  • Economic conditions continue to weaken, further hampering the company's ability to generate the cash flow necessary to service its debt and continue NSP payments

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