Kelly-Moore Paints Shutting Down After Paying Over $600 Million in Asbestos Lawsuits

Warehouse aisle with paint products

On January 12, 2024, Kelly-Moore Paints announced the company is shutting down after 78 years in business. The reason why? Asbestos.

For decades, a variety of Kelly-Moore products contained asbestos, a toxic mineral that can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases.

“Sadly, no matter how great the Kelly-Moore team, products and reputation for service, we simply couldn’t overcome the massive legal and financial burdens that have been weighing on the Company for many years,” said CEO Charles Gassenheimer.

After thousands of families filed lawsuits seeking justice, Kelly-Moore has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in asbestos settlements, with millions more still to be paid.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease after working at Kelly-Moore Paints or with their products, you may be eligible for compensation.

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Understanding Kelly-Moore Paints Asbestos Lawsuits

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was used to help make products more durable and heat resistant. It was also an affordable filler to give paint products a thicker and more textured feel.

From the 1960s to the early 1980s, Kelly-Moore manufactured and sold several products that contained asbestos, including:

  • Cement
  • Joint compounds
  • Textured paints and sprays
  • Other paint products

However, when these products deteriorate after age or use, microscopic asbestos fibers can be released into the air and unknowingly breathed in or swallowed, causing cancers like mesothelioma to develop 20-50 years later.

After the dangers of asbestos became more widely understood, Kelly-Moore phased the toxic mineral out of its products — but it was too late for the many painters, construction workers, homeowners, and company employees who were already exposed.

As a result, tens of thousands of asbestos exposure victims have filed mesothelioma lawsuits against Kelly-Moore.

In fact, the company has already paid out over $600 Million to those harmed by their asbestos-containing products over the last 20 years.

With an additional $170 Million estimated to cover future asbestos claims, Kelly-Moore saw no viable alternative. The company decided to shut down, closing doors nationwide.

Who’s Fault Is It — Kelly-Moore or Union Carbide?

In 2004, Kelly-Moore hoped to offset its asbestos legal battles by filing a lawsuit seeking billions from Union Carbide, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company that sold asbestos-containing products for a number of years.

Between 1963 and 1985, Union Carbide sold its trademark Calidria® asbestos to multiple different manufacturers, including Kelly-Moore, as a thickening agent. Years later, Kelly-Moore claimed Union Carbide had lied about the safety of Calidria in order to increase sales.

However, the paint supply giant had acquired asbestos-containing products from more companies than just Union Carbide, leading the courts to rule against them.

After this loss, Kelly-Moore was left with the bill for its harmful asbestos-containing products.

In one case, Kelly-Moore was found partially liable for a Washington man’s mesothelioma diagnosis after he used the company’s joint compound. Kelly-Moore paid over $5.1 Million of his $36.6 Million settlement.

After investigating alternative options, Kelly-Moore found it impossible to move beyond the looming millions in future asbestos claims, leading the paint supply company to close all branches nationwide.

Get Help Filing a Kelly-Moore Paints Asbestos Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be able to seek justice and financial compensation from an asbestos lawsuit.

As an established national mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of asbestos exposure victims and their families secure justice and compensation. We have the experience and reach to hold powerful companies accountable and get results.

With over 45 years of experience, Sokolove Law has recovered more than $5 Billion in mesothelioma compensation nationwide.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, we are here to help.

Call (800) 647-3434 now or fill out our contact form for a free case review.

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: January 24, 2024

  1. BusinessWire. “Kelly-Moore Paints Announces Plan for Orderly, Out-of-Court Wind-Down of Company Operations.” Retrieved from: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240112772459/en/Kelly-Moore-Paints-Announces-Plan-for-Orderly-Out-of-Court-Wind-Down-of-Company-Operations. Accessed on January 17, 2024.
  2. Los Angeles Times. “Union Carbide Cleared in Kelly-Moore Asbestos Suit.” Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2004-oct-23-fi-asbestos23-story.html. Accessed on January 17, 2023.
  3. Scripps News. “Kelly-Moore out of business after ‘cash drain’ of asbestos lawsuits.” Retrieved from: https://scrippsnews.com/stories/kelly-moore-out-of-business-after-cash-drain-of-asbestos-lawsuits/. Accessed January 17, 2024.