When numerous employees are injured on the job while working for the same
company, it can create quite the financial burden for the employer. Due
to the number of
workers' compensation claims that are filed because of numerous employees' injuries or illnesses,
the employer may find themselves unable to compensate every injured employee.
Unfortunately, this means that some workers that are experiencing health
issues may either experience a delayed payment or not receive a payment at all.
This very situation has happened with Pittsburgh Corning in Pennsylvania.
Over the years, the company has been named in more than 400,000 asbestos-related
workers' compensation lawsuits. They were able to settle about 200,000
of those lawsuits but then became low on funds, and had to file for bankruptcy
in 2000. When the company filed for bankruptcy, they stated that any additional
lawsuit could potentially deplete their assets.
This means that the injured workers in the remaining 200,000 cases have
not received compensation for their injuries. Finally, last week, a federal
bankruptcy judge moved forward with approving a plan that would allow
the company to emerge from bankruptcy. The plan includes the creation
of a $3.5 billion trust that would help to compensation those that are
still owed compensation for the harms they sustained due to their work
environment. However, the company's insurance company is expected
to appeal the plan, which would further delay this compensation into at
The majority of the lawsuits have been filed by those that were injured
by an asbestos-type product, known as Unibestos, that was produced by
the company from 1964 through 1972. One of the plants in which the product
was produced was closed down by OSHA in 1972 because it was considered
It is unfortunate when an injured worker has to wait to receive the workers'
compensation benefits to which they are entitled. It appears that many
of these workers have been waiting numerous years to receive the benefits
to help them through their illnesses, and to help them pay their bills.
Hopefully the plan to create the trust will soon be approved and agreed
upon so that these employees can obtain the compensation they deserve.
Source: Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, "Pittsburgh Corning Asbestos Woes Continue as Company Tries to Emerge from
Bankruptcy," Pat Guth, June 3, 2013.