Rapid-American Corp./Philip Carey Manufacturing Corp. logo

Rapid-American Corp./Philip Carey Manufacturing Corp.

  • Year Founded: 1888
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Philip Carey Manufacturing Corporation was a longtime manufacturer of insulation products for industrial equipment including boilers, pipes, generators and more. Sometimes referred to as “Old Carey,” the company was established in Ohio in 1888.

For nearly 80 years, the company mined asbestos and manufactured asbestos-containing products for various industries.

Rapid-American Corp./Philip Carey Manufacturing Corp. Facts:
  • Founded: 1888
  • Years Operated: 1888-present
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Business: Manufactured insulation and industrial applications
  • Asbestos Trust: No
  • Bankruptcy Status: Filed in 2013

In 1967, the company merged with the Glen Alden Corporation, creating the Philip Carey Corporation or “New Carey.” Then, in 1970, Glen Alden merged with Briggs Manufacturing. Briggs later changed its name to Panacon but remained a subsidiary of Glen Alden. Alden then sold its interests in Panacon to Celotex a few years later.

In October 1972, a merger with another Ohio-based company called Rapid-American Corporation occurred.

Because Philip Carey Manufacturing used asbestos to make products, many workers were dangerously exposed to these toxic fibers. The company, along with its subsidiaries and spinoffs, eventually became the target of substantial legal claims after these products harmed employees and consumers of these products.

Rapid-American Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2013 because it was facing an estimated 275,000 asbestos claims. Meshulam Riklis, an Israeli-American billionaire who built his corporate empire in the 1950s by merging two companies into Rapid-American, died Jan. 25, 2018, at age 95.

In July 2017, Rapid-American and two other groups requested a protective order from double-dipping in the asbestos recovery system. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein denied the order on Feb. 12, 2018, refusing to strike the subpoenas issued by insurers that process asbestos personal injury claims.

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Litigation & Specific Lawsuits

Rapid-American started fielding asbestos-related lawsuits in the 1970s. The thousands of legal claims posed against Rapid-American and its subsidiaries resulted in devastating legal and financial battles, not all of which were recoverable. Celotex was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1990. Even though a trust fund was created through Celotex’s bankruptcy reorganization to compensate injured parties, the fund fell short on what was needed to address all the asbestos claims. Many workers are consequently filing suit against Rapid-American to seek compensation for their asbestos-related medical bills.

In 1994, Henry Pustejovsky filed a lawsuit against Rapid-American after being diagnosed with mesothelioma stemming from his work as a metal pourer. His personal injury claim stated that asbestos exposure occurred during his occupational handling of asbestos-containing materials.

In March 1997, the family of Julius L. Novicki filed a lawsuit against Rapid-American, along with 44 additional defendants, for wrongful death relating to the “sale, installation and repair of asbestos products.” Novicki spent seven years as a welder where he used asbestos-containing products manufactured by Rapid American and other companies. He later developed mesothelioma and died in 1995. The case, Novicki v. Rapid-American C., further exposed the occupational dangers associated with exposure to Philip Carey asbestos products.

More recently, Rapid-American faced a similar asbestos claim in 2007 from the estate of a former Navy veteran who developed lung cancer. In Harris v. Rapid-American Corp., the wife of Thomas Harris claimed that his asbestos exposure derived from contaminated products that he dealt with through his service duties. Rapid-American was one of many defendants named in this case. Harris’ story joins thousands of other Navy veterans who became exposed to asbestos through no fault of their own and end up developing one of several asbestos-caused respiratory diseases and cancers.

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Industries & Occupations

Exposure to products manufactured by Philip Carey could increase your chances of developing an asbestos-related disease, especially if they were manufactured before the 1970s. Employees of the company and workers who used the products are at significant risk of developing an asbestos disease because of the decades-long latency periods associated with asbestos-related diseases.

Examples of the asbestos-containing products manufactured by the original Philip Carey Manufacturing Corporation include the Carey-Canadian Asbestos 7RF Floats, Carey Thermo-Board concrete, Carey Rock Wool, Asbestos Magnesia Diatomite Rock Wool, Carey Stone and Fire-Chex Singles.

Industrial engineers, metal and factory workers, machinists, and other industrial occupations were among the most at risk for exposure to these products. Receiving regular screenings from your doctor is recommended to anyone who believes they were at increased risk of asbestos exposure.

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Writer and Editor

Matt Mauney is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of professional writing and editing experience. He joined The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com in 2016, and he spends much of his time reading, analyzing and reporting on mesothelioma research articles to ensure people in the mesothelioma community know the latest medical advances. Prior to joining Asbestos.com, Matt was a Community Manager at the Orlando Sentinel. Matt also edits pages, articles and other content on the website. He holds a certificate in health writing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at Asbestos.com
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5 Cited Article Sources

  1. OpenJurist - Celotex Corporation Owens-Illinois Incorporated v. Rapid American Corporation. (n.p.). Retrieved from: http://openjurist.org/124/f3d/619/celotex-corporation-owens-illinois-incorporated-v-rapid-american-corporation
  2. FindLaw - DOMANSKE v. RAPID AMERICAN CORPORATION. (n.p.). Retrieved from: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nj-superior-court-appellate-division/1058227.html
  3. RAND Institute for Civil Justice
  4. O'Brien, J. (2018, February 27). With judge's approval, insurers are looking for double-dipping in case they're forced to pay for asbestos claims. Retrieved from: https://legalnewsline.com/stories/511352511-with-judge-s-approval-insurers-are-looking-for-double-dipping-in-case-they-re-forced-to-pay-for-asbestos-claims
  5. Hiltzik, M. (2019, January 29). R.I.P. Meshulam Riklis, the last of the original corporate raiders. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-riklis-20190129-story.html

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Last Modified January 31, 2019

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