Goodyear Employees at Risk of Cancer and Asbestosis

Thousands of former and current employees of Goodyear Tire & Rubber and other Ohio rubber plants are at risk of serious health issues as a result of asbestos exposure.

Asbestos gained popularity for many years for its flexibility, strength, and resistance to heat, flame, and corrosion. It is now known to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other illnesses but regulations did not occur until the extreme hazards were brought to light. Workers who were employed in the rubber manufacturing industry prior to that time may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.

Unfortunately, even with the knowledge that workers were facing serious health hazards, corporations like Goodyear carried on manufacturing dangerous products, and failed to warn employees of the risks.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic injury lawyer and Ohio Toxic exposure attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.

Hazards to Ohio Rubber Plant Workers

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is best known for producing automobile tires but it also manufactured a number of other products, including rubberized gaskets which contained asbestos. Some rubber manufacturing plants may have even used raw asbestos in rubber mixtures to produce rubber sheets that were used for gaskets, seals and electrical insulations.

Rubber manufacturing workers may have been exposed to talc used during the molding process. The talc dust used by workers was often contaminated with asbestos.

Regardless of their position in the past 50 years, most rubber factory workers faced an occupational exposure. Production sites were built with asbestos bricks, drywall, and heating and water pipes. Asbestos gaskets were used to seal pipes, pumps, and equipment.

The following positions are considered high-risk:

  • Assembly line workers—belts and belt drives were often reinforced with asbestos fibers
  • Maintenance Crews
  • Warehouse part pickers

Goodyear Knowingly Put Workers at Risk

An uncovered corporate document in the Goodyear archives from as early as 1939 showed the company’s medical director issuing a warning about the dangers of asbestos dust and asbestosis.

Asbestos fibers can circulate through the air where they are easily inhaled or ingested and lodged in the tissue surrounding the lungs. This may lead to the development of cancers, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

An inspection report showed the plant operation was “exceedingly dirty with asbestos.” OSHA compliance data for the industry indicate over-exposures to asbestos.

Rubber Plant Asbestos Risk

Rubber factory workers may have been exposed to asbestos products at other Ohio manufacturers. Some of the notable include:

Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illness

Asbestos-related cancers have a long latency period, and workers may not be diagnosed until many years after exposure. When they do present, symptoms of lung diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma may include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swelling of the abdomen

Goodyear Employees Settlements

A New York State jury found Goodyear at least partially responsible for the death of two lung cancer victims who previously worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber and were exposed to asbestos-containing gaskets produced by the company. The families of the victim were awarded a combined $22 million in damages.

A Dallas, Texas jury awarded over $18 million to family members of a deceased tire builder who was killed after being exposed to cancer-causing asbestos fibers at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. subsidiary. The jury concluded that Goodyear was grossly negligent in allowing the victim of mesothelioma to be continually exposed to asbestos. The verdict included $15 million in punitive damages.

An Asbestos Trust totaling $80 million was set up in 2004 after insurance giant Travelers reached a settlement with attorneys representing tens of thousands of U.S. rubber workers with asbestos claims. The fund was to cover about 14,000 of those were from Ohio, many of them Akron-area rubber and auto workers who died or developed serious illnesses from asbestos exposure.

Compensation for Goodyear Employees

Employees of Goodyear and other rubber plants may have been put at risk by their employers and various manufacturers of toxic products. If former Goodyear employees have fallen ill, or have been diagnosed with lung conditions, it may be a result of Mesothelioma Cancer. Affected employees may have a claim against Goodyear, and may consider seeking medical and legal assistance.

If you or a loved one suffered an asbestos-related illness after working at Goodyear Tire & Rubber or another Ohio rubber plant, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions for Goodyear employees.