Libby Issues & Answers
From 1963 to 1990, Grace operated a vermiculite mine and processing mill in Libby,
Montana that involved exposures to asbestos. As a company and as individuals,
we have never wavered from our belief that one serious illness or lost life is one too many.
That is why we have taken so seriously our commitment to our former Libby employees and the
people of Libby.
For that reason, Grace committed in 2000 to help St. John's Lutheran Hospital in Libby meet its capital and operating needs. As of June 2011, Grace has donated more than $2.5 million to St. John’s. The donations have been used by St. John’s to establish a clinic for people with asbestos-related illnesses, train medical staff, purchase equipment (such as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI unit and new devices for a state-of-the-art laboratory), treat patients and subsidize medical procedures.
We also created a Libby Medical Program to cover all costs of treating asbestos-related conditions for people who live in Libby or who lived there when the mine was operating, at no cost to plan members. In June 2011, the program had over 1,100 enrollees.
Since the program was established, Grace has spent more than $22 million (as of June 2011). Most of that money has been spent on medical care and prescription drugs. Each year, Grace hosts an annual members meeting - a daylong series of meetings where plan members can discuss asbestos, smoking cessation, the importance of diet and exercise, and other related health issues with doctors, nurses and other healthcare consultants from around the country. And, in 2004, Grace added free gym memberships at two area health clubs for plan enrollees interested in losing weight.
Nonetheless, the United States government proceeded with a criminal case in 2005 against Grace, as well as several former employees, that claimed the company had conspired to keep critical scientific information pertaining to asbestos dangers at the Libby mine from the State of Montana and the federal government. The government also claimed that Grace knowingly endangered individuals for decades.
We categorically denied the charges and presented our case during a jury trial from February to May 2009. On May 8, 2009, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.
Regardless of this case, it remains Grace's policy to assure full compliance with all applicable laws and we continue to be proud of the accomplishments of our worldwide compliance program. The individuals who make up the global Grace team are the best in the world. They care deeply about our customers, about their co-workers and about the communities in which they live and raise their families.
Statement from Grace CEO Regarding Verdict in U.S. vs. W. R. Grace
Mining and Mills Occupational Health Programs
Zonolite Attic Insulation Safety Facts
Libby Asbestos Timeline
Grace Offers Libby Medical Program
Statement from W. R. Grace & Co. Regarding Montana Indictment