On April 16, 2000, (Case No. 00-22876 JKF) Pittsburgh Corning Corporation filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Inundated by asbestos claims, the company saw no other means by which to resolve this legal liability. Over 13 years later, Judge Fitzgerald of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a Final Order Confirming the Modified Third Amended Plan of Reorganization. PPG Industries and Corning Inc. are the two companies that own Pittsburgh Corning. Under the final plan proposed for Pittsburgh Corning, PPG Industries would pay about $825 million to the trust through 2023 along with 1.4 million shares of PPG stock or the cash equivalent. Corning Inc. would pay $290 million for the next six years. Their insurers would kick in over $1.7 billion.
Pittsburgh Corning developed, manufactured, and supplied building materials on a national and international level. Specifically between 1962 and 1972, the company manufactured a pipe-covering and insulation branded UNIBESTOS. Unibestos Pipe Insulation and Unibestos Insulation were durable, withstood temperatures of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, were extremely resistant to corrosion, and when the dust they created was inhaled, they were potentially lethal. Both products were composed primarily of thin, long-fibered Amosite asbestos. Amosite is known as one of the more deadly types of asbestos because of its long fiber characteristic that is brittle and breaks easily causing it to be inhaled.
Approximately 400,000 claims were filed against Pittsburgh Corning as a result of exposure to their asbestos containing products. Nearly 200,000 claims were settled before the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The 3.5 billion dollars allotted to the bankruptcy trust is still just out of reach to the over 200,000 victims left uncompensated. The down side of all this is that it will likely take at least one more year before the final confirmation of the plan and for trust to actually begin accepting the claims that will be paid at approximately 37% of the value. Victims will wait even longer for even a small percent of justice.