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Honeywell facing probe for underestimating asbestos liability

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was investigating Honeywell International's accounting on Oct. 19. In particular, the SEC said that it was investigating the Louisville company's accounting for its liabilities related to asbestos. According to a regulatory filing, Honeywell filed a revised estimate for these liabilities as of the end of 2017. They amounted to $2.61 billion, a jump of $1.09 billion over previous estimates from the firm.

Honeywell previously owned a company called Bendix Friction Materials, a manufacturer of automotive brake linings. While the company sold off Bendix in 2014, it is responsible for liabilities related to Bendix' manufacture of automotive brake linings that contained asbestos. Thousands of people have filed personal injury claims citing illnesses caused by their exposure to asbestos in the brakes, particularly people involved with manufacturing and repairing the asbestos-containing devices. As a result of the revision, Honeywell revised its reported earnings per share for 2017. They fell 14 cents lower to $2.00.

Asbestos is related to fatal diseases, especially mesothelioma. This is a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. While there is no known cure for the cancer, early treatment and diagnosis can help people fight back against the disease. The people most vulnerable to mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure are factory workers who directly participated in asbestos manufacturing. Other severe illnesses are also caused by asbestos exposure, including asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques and pleural disease.

Workers in Kentucky may have been exposed at multiple job sites to asbestos in the workplace. The consequences can be medically catastrophic for workers and their families. People who have suffered from disease due to asbestos exposure at work might consult with a lawyer to help them pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

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