History of ABB Lummus Global
ABB Lummus Global, Inc. is part of a larger organization, ABB Ltd., which is headquartered in Switzerland. ABB combined two separate entities, the Swedish electrical company Allmanna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA) and Switzerland-based Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC), both of which were founded in the late 1800s.
Specializing in high-capacity transformers and electrical systems, ASEA built the world’s first 120 MVA 220kV transformer and designed the first 400 kV AC cable. BBC built Europe’s first steam turbine, the first high-speed locomotive and the first gas-insulated switchgear of specific power that was designed to increase the safety of circuit breakers in confined spaces.
The companies merged in 1988, forming ABB and establishing a headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. As a single company, the researchers, scientists and technicians of ABB continued their ground-breaking work in manufacturing and process automation.
In 1995, ABB created Lummus Global by merging ABB Global Engineering with ABB Lummus Crest. Lummus Global has long been a leader in the development of process technology for the petrochemical and oil and gas industries. The company currently operates through five business divisions: power products, power systems, discrete automation and motion, low voltage products and process automation.
For several decades, ABB manufactured many products that contained asbestos ingredients. The company incorporated this dangerous mineral into products like gaskets, valves, insulation, and other items used in generators, reactors and related technologies. As a result, ABB faced asbestos claims that eventually caused significant legal implications.
In 2006, ABB Lummus Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to pay out asbestos-related liability claims filed against the company. It was the second of two ABB subsidiaries to file an asbestos-related bankruptcy. The first, Combustion Engineering, had filed for Chapter 11 the previous year. Injured parties filed a total of 135,000 asbestos claims against Lummus Global in the United States, and another 440,000 claims were filed against Combustion Engineering.
An asbestos personal injury trust was created as part of the Lummus Chapter 11 reorganization plan. ABB allocated nearly $1.5 billion to pay asbestos claims made by employees and subcontractors of Lummus Global and Combustion Engineering. The purpose of the trust is to expedite claims against ABB in a timely and equitable fashion.
The ABB Lummus Global Inc. Asbestos PI Trust sets forth a process for filing a claim and the specific procedure by which claims are assessed. The trust liquidated and paid 2,515 claims in 2017, totaling nearly $2 million, according to an annual financial report filed April 30, 2018.
The trust fund had more than $22.5 million in funding at the end of 2017 and accrued $73,051 in interest that year.
In 2007, ABB sold Lummus Global to Texas-based CB&I for $950 million in an effort to further fund its asbestos liability trust. Today, products manufactured by ABB US are asbestos-free.
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Industries and Occupations
ABB Lummus Global manufactured a variety of asbestos-containing equipment and technologies throughout its long history. The manufacturing of these products put many of ABB’s employees at risk of developing respiratory illnesses related to asbestos exposure.
Some of the occupations potentially exposed while working at ABB include factory workers, machinists, metal workers and engineers. Continual exposure to asbestos can be detrimental and may not be noticeable for decades. At risk workers are encouraged to receive regular medical screenings and report any health conditions to their doctor.Learn About Other Companies That Manufactured Asbestos Products
Some of the products manufactured by ABB that potentially contained asbestos include high-capacity transformers, electrical systems, AC cables, steam turbines and gas-insulated switchgears.
- ABB operates in nearly 100 countries
- Its operations utilize 7 research centers and 6,0000 researchers from over 70 colleges
- ABB manages nearly 4,780 patent families and 19,890 patent applications
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Last Modified February 7, 2019
6 Cited Article Sources
- ABB LUMMUS GLOBAL, INC. (2018, April 30). ANNUAL REPORT, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS OF THE ABB LUMMUS GLOBAL INC. 524(g) ASBESTOS PI TRUST FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017. Retrieved from: http://abblummustrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ABB-Lummus-Trust-Annual-Report-and-Financial-Statements_2017_service-copy.pdf
- D'Amico, Esther. Lummus Global files for Chapter 11. (2006 May 03). Retrieved from: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-145927065/lummus-global-files-chapter.html
- Newsroom, ABB. (2007 August 27). ABB sells Lummus Global to CB&I [Press Release]. Retrieved from: http://www.abb.com/cawp/seitp202/60c4fdcd6185e08ec125734400199e16.aspx
- ABB Facts and Figures. (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.abb.com/cawp/abbzh252/b434095700ab7545c1256ae700494de1.aspx
- LexisNexis - Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy Report. (2007 February). Retrieved from: http://www.crowell.com/documents/DOCASSOCFKTYPE_ARTICLES_592.pdf
- Rand. (2010). Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts. Retrieved from: http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR872.pdf