Witness Testifies that W.R. Grace Knowingly Sold Land Covered in Asbestos–Laden Vermiculite

Asbestos Contamination not Disclosed in Land Sale

March 11, 2009 - When Mel and Lerah Parker bought 21 acres of land from W.R. Grace, they intended on growing a successful nursery, building a home and raising their children. What they did not intend, however, was for their property to be a conduit of harm for themselves, their loved ones, or their customers. Unfortunately for the Parkers, the vermiculite covering their property was contaminated with tremolite asbestos, a detail that allegedly W.R. Grace executive Alan Stringer failed to mention when selling the Parkers the property.

In their testimony, the Parkers described how the property was covered with piles of vermiculite. They described how they used the vermiculite to grow seedlings for the nursery, and how they loaded up customer's vehicles with the asbestos-laden vermiculite for use in their own gardens. For all their hard work, both Parkers' have been diagnosed with asbestos related diseases.

In their case against Grace, U.S. officials are attempting to show that Grace withheld information about the dangers of the asbestos within their vermiculite ore. The Parkers had purchased the land after Grace had closed the mine in 1990. According to internal memos and documentation, Grace was well aware of the dangers of their vermiculite product decades before closing the mine. As witnesses, the Parkers were to illustrate how Grace and its officials allowed them to buy, live and work on the property while being aware of the health hazards posed by the vermiculite covering the property.

Recent trial coverage on Asbestos Network:

  • W.R. Grace Claims Asbestos Types from Zonolite Mine Unregulated
  • "You can't mine completely clean vermiculite.... It's impossible."
  • W.R. Grace Aware of Tremolite Asbestos Dangers from Libby Mine
  • Libby Residents Suffered From Asbestos Mine, W.R. Grace Asbestos Trial
  • Effect of W.R. Grace Criminal Asbestos Trial on Asbestos Trust

Protecting Your Legal Rights

For over 25 years, Brayton Purcell has been involved in asbestos trials, representing clients with asbestos-related diseases, including asbestosis and mesothelioma. Contact one of our asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys with your legal questions.