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The case study titled When Did Johns-Manville Know is primarily concerned with the issue of an employers liability with respect to the health and safety of its employees This case deals specifically with how much of what an employer knows or ought to know about a potential hazard should be communicated to workers and what steps the company is obligated to take in protecting workers from such dangers In addition the avoidance of cash payments to employees for damages by seeking relief through bankruptcy protection is also discussedToday most people have heard at least to some degree about the potential health problems associated with exposure to asbestos but in the mid 1920s medical evidence of this threat was still being compiled The article notes that even though concerns about potential health problems from asbestos exposure were documented as early at 1907 asbestos related illness was reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1928 These concerns were enough to cause the Prudential Insurance Company to suspend life insurance policies on asbestos workersThe Johns-Manville company was a producer and supplier of asbestos in the United States According to J-M the company had followed asbestos safety standards later set forth by the US Public Health Service in 1938 since the early 1930s The firm also alleges they had no knowledge of asbestos related cancer until as late as 1964 According to the evidence presented in the text this knowledge and the companys apparent attempts to conceal from employees the harmful effects of asbestos exposure was the basis for several successful lawsuits against the organizationThough the J-M company began taking annual chest X-rays of plant workers in the 1930s and participated in an asbestos study during that same time there was evidence that the company knew more than it was telling employees Indeed the company was accused of deliberately not telling its workers about key medical information relating to asbestos health concerns According to correspondence between
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