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Jury Awards $7.2 Million in Asbestos Case

The estate of a shipfitter who died of mesothelioma at aged 62 recently won a lawsuit against nine asbestos companies. The shipfitter’s wife sued and claimed that her husband’s exposure to asbestos occurred when he worked at the Philadelphia Navel Shipyard between 1965 and 1971. Although he left this career and spent the rest of his life as a nurse anesthetist, he was still diagnosed of mesothelioma in 2010 because of the asbestos he encountered on the job. He died six months after his initial diagnosis. gavel-4-1409594-m.jpg

According to the Legal Intelligencer, the jury hearing the claim found for the estate and awarded damages of $7.2 million against the nine companies whose asbestos products were used by the shipfitter and caused his exposure. The compensation included $3.6 million in Survival Act damages and $3.6 million in wrongful death damages.

While every case is different, outcomes like this one make clear that juries are ready and willing to hold companies accountable for making people sick. The companies that manufactured and sold asbestos products are expected to compensate individuals who develop mesothelioma or family members of those who die due to exposure. An experienced Boston mesothelioma lawyer can help those who have been harmed to take legal action and obtain the money they need for their losses.

Asbestos Case Results in Finding for Plaintiff

The wife of the shipfitter sued nine defendants in the Philadelphia lawsuit including RSCC Wire and Cable; General Electric, Greene Tweed, Westinghouse, Buffalo Pumps, Warren Pumps, Blackmer Pumps, DeLaval Turbine and Square D.

Eight of the nine companies settled the lawsuit prior to the trial occurring. However, RSCC Wire and Cable did not settle. Because of the jury’s decision in the case, RSCC is going to be required to pay 1/9 of the total money that was awarded. Each of the nine companies named in the lawsuit shared responsibility for paying damages. RSCC will thus be obligated to pay approximately $805,000. The remaining companies will pay the plaintiff the amount of compensation determined by the negotiated settlement.

The case presented some challenges because plaintiffs in asbestos cases are required to prove that they had regular and frequent exposure to a defendant’s product that contained asbestos. In this case, the defendant argued that the shipbuilder did not directly handle electrical wire products that the company produced. Therefore, there was no proof that the shipfitter had regular contact with the product. The plaintiff, on the other hand, argued that there was regular second-hand exposure because the shipfitter was around the wiring product and was around other shipyard employees who made use of the wiring at the time.

The jury reviewed the facts and voted seven-to-one in finding that all of the nine defendants the plaintiff had taken legal action against had created products that were a “substantial factor” in leading to the shipfitter’s development of mesothelioma.

Asbestos victims should contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Low Levels of Asbestos Exposure Can Cause Mesothelioma, Jan. 2, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog