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I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that several litigations have been filed concerning Zonolite - which is a home insulation material. If your home has zonolite, you may want to seek legal assistance to determine whether you need to take any legal action - if you have not done so already.

Already, several class action lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer, W.R. Grace & Co. The plaintiffs are asking for compensation for personal injury and property damage that they say is related to this product.

Suits have been filed on behalf of all owners of homes in the United States in which Zonolite insulation has been installed. According to the company, Zonolite was used between January 1, 1963 to December 31, 1984. Published reports indicate the insulation is manufactured from an ore that is mined from the Zonolite Mountain in Jackson County, Montana. It is alleged by the plaintiffs that that ore also contained asbestos.

The lawsuits make some startling accusations. Plaintiffs in these cases allege, among other things, that Grace was aware that the ore contained asbestos but, they allege, did not reveal this to the public. There is also an allegation that in 1973 state health officials in Washington advised company officials to place a ''Caution--contains asbestos'' label on the product, but the company refused.

More than 124,000 claims have been filed against the former asbestos manufacturer. Grace filed a petition for bankruptcy on April 2, 2001, and halted all pending litigation against the company.

The manufacturer claims this is safe product. It asserts that the asbestos was removed from the product during processing. It further asserts that air studies have demonstrated that the product is safe.

Class action lawsuits are different from regular lawsuits because they can bind persons who may not even know that a lawsuit, potentially affecting their legal rights, has been filed.

With these cases in the courts, owners of homes containing this product need to make informed decisions. Doing nothing may bind you to the results of the class action lawsuits. Or, if time remains, you may be able to opt out of the class and file you own separate lawsuit.

Is there Zonolite in your home? Or did you or a loved one come into contact with this product? If so, you may have certain legal rights that need to be examined. What do I think is the best advise? Consult with competent legal counsel as soon as possible.

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