The beer industry is huge in the United States and has been for well over a century. These days, craft breweries are “in” and lovers of the foamy stuff can often choose from dozens of types of beer in a single restaurant.
But long before craft beers made in small breweries were popular, American beer lovers depended on the products of large breweries like Pittsburgh Brewing Company to supply them with the beverages they enjoyed. Originally the Iron City Brewery, this brew company was founded back in 1861 by an ambitious German entrepreneur and it was one of the first in the country to produce a “lager” type beer.
By the 1870s, Iron City (also named Frauenheim and Vilsack for a while) became one of the most extensive breweries in the country and was a model for others.
Pittsburgh Brewing survived through the 1920s and the years of Prohibition and continued to prosper through the middle years of the 20th century, acquiring Queen City Brewing in 1958 and several other brand names in the 1970s.
The company was the first to use the snap-top can and the re-sealable cap bottle. All seemed well for Pittsburgh/Iron City Brewing Company and the many Pittsburgh-area employees who worked there.
However, some of the employees at Pittsburgh Brewing Company were getting sick. Similar to other brewing companies around the country, Pittsburgh Brewing was built (or refurbished) at a time when asbestos use was quite common in such an operation.
Asbestos lining, generally used as insulation, lined vats and tanks, generators, boilers, and other equipment, so employees often handled it without wearing any sort of protective equipment, including masks.
Back then, workers didn’t realize that inhaling asbestos fibers could eventually cause them to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, so they didn’t worry when they ended up covered with asbestos dust. In many cases, they even brought the dust home to their loved ones, causing wives and children to eventually become ill as well.
Brewery employees probably didn’t think they were candidates for asbestos disease. In their minds, asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer were more likely to strike steel workers, mechanics, machinists, welders, or construction workers.
But the truth is that ANYONE who is exposed to even small amounts of asbestos can eventually wind up with cancerous tumors and a diagnosis of deadly mesothelioma. Even brewery employees working with vats, tanks, or pipes with asbestos lining.
Over the last few decades, attorneys have brought successful suits against brewery owners and the manufacturers of the asbestos products once used in breweries, garnering compensation for those who can no longer work or take care of their families. In some cases, lawyers were even able to prove that brewery owners and managers knew that asbestos was dangerous but let its use continue.
Therefore, it became clear that many cases of this aggressive cancer may have been avoided had the higher-ups heeded the warnings about the toxic mineral.
If you worked for Pittsburgh Brewing Company or any other brewery in the region and have been diagnosed with asbestos-caused cancer, an experienced mesothelioma attorney can review your case to determine whether or not you qualify for compensation.