The origins of the American Olean Tile Company date back to 1912 when it was founded by Charles T. Fuller and O.W. Pierce as the Olean Tile Company in Olean, New York.  With the hire of an Alfred University ceramics student, Gordon D. Philips, the company’s tile business steadily grew in the decades that followed.  In 1958 National Gypsum Company purchased the existing entities of Olean Tile Company, American Encaustic Tile Co. and American Olean and formed American Olean Tile Company, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of National Gypsum Company.  In 1988 American Olean Tile was sold to Armstrong World Industries, Inc.  On December 29, 1995, the former American Olean Tile Company was purchased by Dal-Tile and dissolved.  Dal-Tile ultimately fell victim to Mohawk Industries through a merger in 2001. 

With the formation of American Olean Tile Company in 1958 asbestos was added as a component in many of the company’s product formulations, especially floor tile.  In addition to manufacturing asbestos-containing tiles, American Olean Tile also sold asbestos-containing thinset mortars (flooring adhesive) that it purchased from L&M Products Inc. and resold.  American Olean Tile continued to incorporate asbestos into these products until about 1978.

Those who worked at American Olean Tile, especially during the years 1958 – 1978, were undoubtedly exposed to asbestos.  As workers would have mixed in raw asbestos fiber into the ceramic tile formulations, asbestos-laden dust became airborne exposing anyone in the area.  Those who installed asbestos-containing tiles manufactured by American Olean Tile Company, such as general customers and union tile-setters from Local 45, were also exposed.  These asbestos-containing tiles were often cut to size, creating asbestos-contaminated dust in that persons breathing zone, and then affixed using asbestos-containing thinset mortar.  No matter the course or duration, any exposure to asbestos for any amount of time puts an individual at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Throughout the years American Olean Tile manufactured and sold many asbestos-containing products.  These products were utilized in residential and commercial settings alike for kitchens, bathrooms, pools, etc.  The factory workers, tradesmen, and general customers who worked with these asbestos-containing products did so with little-to-no warning indicating the dangers they faced, needlessly increasing the individual’s risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer. 

It is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer.  If you or a loved one worked with any products sold and/or manufactured by American Olean Tile, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.