Quick Facts About Quigley Company
  • wavy circle icon with check mark inside
  • calendar icon
    Years Operated:
    1916 - 1991
  • gray building icon
    New York, New York
  • businessman icon standing next to a globe
    Manufacturer of refractory products
  • icon of a building with a dollar sign on it
    Asbestos Trust:
    Yes (established in 2013)
  • downward arrow with blocks representing cash
    Bankruptcy Status:
    Filed in 2004 Approved in 2013

Quigley Company’s Asbestos History

Quigley Company, established in 1916, used asbestos in its products from about 1930 through the 1970s. As one of the top manufacturers in the industry, it provided asbestos-containing products to the United States, Canada and Europe. 

asbestos felt laminate on exterior metal siding panels
Asbestos felt laminate on exterior metal siding panels.

The company used toxic asbestos fibers to increase product durability and resistance to heat. Pfizer acquired the refractory business in 1968 and continued to operate Quigley as a subsidiary under its parent company, producing insulation and other asbestos-containing products until the late 1970s. 

In 1991, Pfizer shifted its focus to pharmaceuticals and closed Quigley Company. However, shutting down operations didn’t stop the influx of lawsuits claiming Quigley products led to asbestos exposure among former employees, workers in industries that came into contact with Quigley products, and workers’ family members. 

Although Pfizer never directly manufactured any of Quigley Company’s asbestos-containing products, its acquisition of the asbestos manufacturer transferred all legal and financial responsibilities of Quigley to Pfizer. By 2004, the cost of these lawsuits forced Pfizer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

Establishing the Quigley Company Asbestos Trust Fund

Quigley Company established The Quigley Company, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Trust in 2013 as part of its reorganization plan. Although the company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, the proceedings lasted until 2013. The trust began accepting claims in 2014. 

Pfizer originally funded the trust with $965 million. A total of $430 million of these funds paid 80% of the existing plaintiffs. The other $535 million went toward paying the remaining 20% of current plaintiffs and funding the trust for all future claims.

The mesothelioma trust fund currently has a payment percentage of 14.5% for Non-Releasing Asbestos PI Claims and 3.6% for Releasing Asbestos PI Claims. This percentage was set to ensure funds remain available for future claimants.

Expedited vs. Individual Filings

Some claimants may receive a higher payment depending on their age, diagnosis, severity of disease and exposure history. The trust offers two types of filings. Expedited claim reviews pay out a predetermined claim amount based on the type of disease, quickly putting needed funds into the hands of claimants. An individual review takes longer to process but may result in a higher but sometimes  less-than-average payout, though. 

Claimants can file a paper claim form or online with the assistance of an experienced asbestos law firm. The trust requires a completed claim form and all necessary documentation to verify the medical diagnosis, employment records and exposure history. Claimants may also submit supporting documents to determine their eligibility and estimated claim payout. 

Quigley Company Products Containing Asbestos

Quigley Company produced insulating refractory products that incorporated asbestos for added strength and fire resistance. Unfortunately, these products exposed workers to the carcinogen.

Asbestos-Containing Quigley Products
  • Asbestos felt
  • Cement
  • Insulag insulator
  • Sealants

Quigley refractory products were popular in the metal and glass industries, which involve high temperatures as part of their daily operational processes. The inclusion of low-cost asbestos meant Quigley products could withstand the heat of these operations while maintaining affordable prices that appealed to many businesses. 

New laws and regulations put a stop to the manufacture of dangerous asbestos products by the 1980s. However, people continue to suffer toxic exposure when encountering these materials in older buildings and equipment. 

Quigley Co. Occupations at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Employees involved in the manufacturing or handling of Quigley products experienced repeated asbestos exposure. They inhaled asbestos fibers that eventually became embedded in their lungs and other tissues. Many workers would develop symptoms and serious health consequences 20 to 60 years after their initial exposure.

High-Risk Occupations
  • Boilermakers and boiler workers
  • Bricklayers
  • Construction workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Furnace workers
  • Insulators
  • Manufacturers
  • Masons
  • Metal workers
  • Pipefitters
  • Roofers
  • Steel mill workers

Workers who encountered the carcinogen on the job weren’t the only ones exposed to asbestos. Close family members experienced secondary exposure when these workers brought the fibers home on their clothing, skin or hair. As with occupational exposure, there is no safe level of secondary exposure, and many people developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases decades after the exposure occurred.

Asbestos Lawsuits Filed Against Quigley Co.

Quigley Company began facing asbestos-related lawsuits in the late 1970s as previous workers began to develop symptoms of disease decades after their exposure. The lawsuits continued to accumulate until the company filed for bankruptcy to limit Pfizer’s liability. Despite the pending bankruptcy and reorganization plan, some lawsuits attempted to hold Pfizer liable as an apparent manufacturer in claims separate from Pfizer’s responsibility as Quigley’s parent company. 

In 2010, Pfizer was able to get these claims barred during the bankruptcy decision, with the courts stating that placing its brand name on a product did not make it a manufacturer of that product. Instead, Pfizer’s liability was solely as the owner of the subsidiary company Quigley, not as a manufacturer.

Asbestos Litigation
  • Rublee v. Pfizer, Inc.: A 2017 court ruling denied Margaret Rublee’s claim over her late husband’s exposure through Pfizer. Her husband was a machinist who worked with Quigley’s Insulag brand insulation. The ruling declared that Pfizer is not an apparent manufacturer of asbestos products, and therefore, plaintiffs cannot sue the company for damages as such.

Quigley Company and Pfizer faced hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims before establishing the trust. Quigley is now defunct, and Pfizer is no longer liable for future claims. 

The Quigley asbestos trust evaluates claims and pays compensation based on the payment percentage and individual details of the claim. Due to the long latency period of asbestos-related diseases, the trust expects to receive new claims for several decades. 

Claimants may wish to obtain the legal services of an attorney experienced in asbestos claims. Working with expert legal counsel can increase the chances of receiving a higher payment, because these lawyers understand how to gather the verification needed to prove the claim.