W.R. Grace was founded in 1854 and is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. In 1963, W.R. Grace bought an asbestos-containing vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. This mine produced around 200,000 tons of asbestos-containing vermiculite per year for use in construction work. Throughout the 1900s, W.R. Grace manufactured asbestos-containing products primarily for construction workers. This included insulation, plaster and cement products. These products were sold under a variety of W.R. Grace brand names, such as Zonolite, Monokote and Perltex.  Many of these products came in a dry form and had to be mixed with water before being sprayed onto walls and ceilings.  Those who worked with or around these asbestos-containing products were exposed to airborne dust generated from the application of these products. Many of these products were manufactured utilizing the asbestos-containing vermiculite from W.R. Grace’s mine in Libby, Montana.

Tremolite Asbestos  is an amphibole that has been found in the United States. It is most commonly associated with W.R. Grace’s “Zonolite” insulation.“Zonolite” is comprised mainly of vermiculite, which mineral is commonly found in the earth alongside asbestos.  Until 1990, over 80% of vermiculite mined in the United States came from W.R. Grace’s mine in Libby, Montana, which was contaminated with Tremolite asbestos.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found W.R. Grace to be an egregious polluter of the Libby community after it was discovered that its vermiculite mines generated large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers. The asbestos fibers contaminated local residences, schools, businesses, and even the community’s water and soil. The EPA currently lists the former W.R. Grace operation on its National Priorities List (NPL), designating it as one of the most hazardous sites in the U.S.  In addition, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted a review of Libby death certificates from 1979-1998, finding that when compared to Montana and U.S. mortality, there was a twenty to forty percent increase in nonmalignant and malignant respiratory deaths in Libby.  When it filed under Chapter 11, the company faced more than 129,000 personal injury claims, including 120 related to Grace’s former vermiculite mining operations in Libby, Montana.

In 2009, W.R. Grace was ordered to pay the U.S. government more than $54 million to cover cleanup costs related to its mining operation after it was revealed that company executives were aware as early as the 1970s that asbestos exposure could lead to various illnesses.  Further, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation revealed that, prior to requesting bankruptcy protection, W. R. Grace transferred several billion dollars to its subsidiaries.  W.R. Grace was ordered to bring back $1 billion to be used for the Trust, and it is estimated that the Trust will contain up to $1.8 billion by 2034.

Today, the Trust is operated by trust fund officers who review claims and determine proper settlement amounts.  To qualify for payment, a claimant must provide credible exposure and medical evidence. Those who worked with or around any of W.R. Grace’s asbestos-containing products and suffer from an asbestos-related illness, may be eligible for compensation from The Trust.

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC has a long history of representing tradesmen throughout New York State who developed mesothelioma and lung cancer after exposure to W.R. Grace spray contractors. In November 2019 Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford attorneys John Comerford and Mathew Morton obtained an $8,000,000 verdict on behalf of a former Kodak employee who was exposed to W.R. Grace’s Monokote 3 that was applied recklessly by Ridge Construction.

If you worked at one of the many jobsites that utilized W.R. Grace’s Asbestos Products, you may have been exposed to asbestos fibers.  Inhaling dust and particles from the application and removal of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing serious health problems, such as mesothelioma.  Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one were exposed to W.R. Grace’s asbestos-containing products, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.

Jobsites That Utilized W.R. Grace Asbestos Products:

The Monroe Building, 333 E. Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13202

Brighton Manor Nursing Home, 989 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610

Albany Municipal Building

Albany South Mall

Barry Sternberg

Broome State School

Carborundum Center, Niagara Falls

Cayuga County Office Building

Chautauqua Mall

Civil Service Building, State Office Campus, Albany, NY

Cohoes Jr. Sr. High School

Colgate University

Dansville Memorial Hospital

Denonville School

D’Youville College

E.W. Edwards Department Store, Syracuse

Ebenezer Watts Building

Eisenhower College

Elizabeth A. Horton Memorial Hospital, Middletown

Elmira Reception Center

Friendly Homes

Genesee Medical Center

George Seitz

Grassland Hospital, Valhalla

Greece Athena High School

Hooper Construction Company

Houghton College

Hudson Plastering

IBM East Fishkill

J.V. Sgroi Plastering Co.

Kodak Park Building 82

Main Place Mall

Oneida County Office Building

Oneida Hospital

Park Ridge Nursing Home

Powelson Business Institute

R.U. Wilson Office Building

Rapple & Hoenig

Rochester Public School 7

Rochester Public Schools 11 & 33

Rochester Public School 19

Seneca Building, Rochester

St. John’s Home for the Aged

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Cheektowaga

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Elmira

St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester

State Office Building, Binghamton

Stirling Homex Corporation

SUNY Binghamton

SUNY College of Forestry

Telescope Folding Furniture Co.

Thompson Nursing Home

Thruway Builders Supply

Tonawanda Police HQ

Tri-City Hospital, Niskayuna

Uihlein Mercy Center

University at Buffalo

Utica College

Utica Free Academy

Wegmans, East Ave., Rochester

West Gate Nursing Home


Women & Children’s Hospital


At Risk Occupations