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South Carolina Appeals Court Says Celanese Corp. Must Pay $14 Million Asbestos Verdict

The South Carolina Court of Appeals has ordered Texas-based Celanese Corp. to pay a $14 million verdict that the company attempted to have overturned. In the original case, the specialty materials company was found negligent for failing to warn the plaintiff of the dangers of asbestos found in gaskets, packing and insulation materials at one of its facilities. The company was also found negligent for failing to provide safe working conditions and adequate protections against asbestos dust.

Attorneys for the plaintiff said that Celanese “was fully aware of the asbestos hazards encountered by contractors” like his client, “yet they had a widespread company policy of concealment that their executives memorialized in a memo.” The company “stated that any inquiries from employees about hazards should be met with statements by the company that 'emphasize that the data is inconclusive' and that 'exposures were being monitored and controlled below appropriate limits.' It wasn't true, and the jury saw that."

The plaintiff in the case was employed by Daniel Construction, a maintenance services provider, but he worked for Daniel at a Celanese polyester plant from 1971 to 1980. In August 2013, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Shortly after his diagnosis, the victim and his family sued Celanese. Sadly, he did not survive long enough to see justice. The victim died from advanced mesothelioma on December 29, 2014, at the age of 70.

A three-judge panel rejected Celanese Corp’s numerous challenges to the $14 million verdict, including claims that the plaintiff was not a statutory employee and that jurors had engaged in premature deliberations and had considered outside influences in reaching the verdict.

The company must now pay the victim’s widow and estate for all damages, which includes $12 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, see your doctor right away. Your doctor can refer you to a mesothelioma specialist who can assess your risk and set up a monitoring plan that could help detect the disease sooner.

There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, early detection could lead to better treatment options and outcomes. See your doctor to assess your risk today.

 

Sources

“Celanese Must Pay $14M Asbestos Verdict: SC Appeals Court.” Law360.com. LexisNexis, Portfolio Media, Inc., 13 Feb. 2019. Web. 09 Apr. 2019. 

“Keene v. Cna Holdings, LLC.” CaseText.com. CaseText, Inc., 13 Feb. 2019. Web. 09 Apr. 2019.

“S.C. Appeals Court Upholds $14M Asbestos Exposure Verdict Against Celanese Corp.” Morningstar. Morningstar, Inc., 15 Feb. 2019. Web. 09 Apr. 2019.

“S.C. Appeals Court Upholds $14M Asbestos Exposure Verdict Against Celanese Corp.” PR Newswire. PR Newswire Association LLC., A Cision Company, 15 Feb. 2019. Web. 09 Apr. 2019.